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10.02.07 Division Highlights

Approach to Verify a Model for Translating Convective Weather Information to Air Traffic Management Impact: This approach was presented at the 7th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration and Operations Conference. The method verifies the accuracy of a version of the Convective Weather Avoidance Model (CWAM) developed by MIT/Lincoln Laboratory with support from NASA Ames Research Center. CWAM translates convective weather information to ATM impact by identifying convective regions of airspace pilots are likely to deviate around, as well as regions they may fly through. This model will help minimize lost capacity due to convection by providing more accurate regions where re-route is required. Developing routing algorithms using the CWAM is an important issue; equally important is verifying its accuracy. NASA Ames, in collaboration with MIT/Lincoln Laboratory, is verifying the CWAM, and the results of this preliminary verification study were presented at this conference. The results showed general agreement with CWAM predictions verifying storm intensity and height have some explanatory value for estimating pilot deviation. Improvements to this work include addressing the correlation and cross-correlation of more features such as lighting conditions (day and night), size of CWAM polygon, Center, aircraft type and equipage, PIREPS, flight deck information, aircraft company, and exclusive passenger or cargo flights to deviations.

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Modeling Tactical Trajectory Accuracy Effects on Traffic Flow Management Operations: A collaborative paper with researchers from Ames and the DOT Volpe Transportation Center was presented at the 7th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration and Operations Conference. It discussed how software, databases, and methods from previous predictive models assessed benefits of augmenting parametric methods with kinetic model trajectory predictions. Those results were consistent with other studies of models for aircraft position prediction accuracy during climbs and descents. A kinetic model reduced error for average arrival meter fix crossing time predictions across a one-hour predictive range by 0.6 minutes (39% improvement) when compared to the parametric model used in an experimental traffic flow management system. These results are comparable to the kinetic model's 1.1-minute (47% improvement) error reduction over the operational traffic flow management's parametric implementation. Data also show national convective weather conditions do not appear to affect performance differentials. Kinetic systems do not necessarily ensure performance superior to parametric systems in all areas. Parametric models of air traffic management procedural effects on altitude profiles demonstrated an average 10% error reduction for selected sector entry and occupancy metrics. The sources of these particular errors are not inherent to kinetic methods and could be addressed by procedural modeling improvements. The error reductions achieved by kinetic models do not ameliorate pre-departure uncertainties, though traffic flow management functions a variety of air traffic management teams and functions may benefit from these levels of increased accuracy at their information exchange boundaries, particularly at Center, sector, and meter-fix crossings.

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Simulator Visual System Upgrade: The most recent upgrade to Crew Vehicle Systems Research Facility (CVSRF) is the replacement of the FlightSafety International Vital VIII out-the-window visual system with the state-of-the-art Vital X system. This upgrade is the precursor of the B747-400 visual upgrade scheduled for early next year. The upgrade consists of new projectors as well as image generators (IGs). The projectors contain digital instead of analog signal boards allowing for greater reliability. The system uses a wide area verses a flat earth database, allowing for WGS-84 height above terrain as well as larger databases and greater texture capability. The IGs replace a 10K polygon system with 30K polygons. Combined with the projectors, this affords resolution improvement from 800x960 to 1280x1256. In addition, the system increases the number of moving targets (aircraft) from 16 to 256. This increase greatly enhances the capability of the simulator when considering high saturation traffic volumes in integrated simulations with other facilities. This upgrade provides greater capabilities, reliability, and realism for the out-the-window scene viewed by subject crews as well as new capabilities, greater resolution and state-of-the-art equipment to the researchers who use CVSRF.

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Last Updated: November 7, 2018

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