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10.23.07 Division Highlights

Tactical Separation-Assured Flight Environment (TSAFE) False Alerts Reduced: TSAFE alerting performance has been refined to reduce false alerts. Using a two-hour sample of traffic data from Washington Center, the legacy conflict alert system produced 35 false alerts. TSAFE now produces only 16 false alerts for the same traffic scenario. Several methods keep false alerts to a minimum. The latest method reduces the time horizon of the dead-reckoning altitude predictions during the start of climbs or descents. When a level-flying aircraft is given an altitude clearance, it continues flying level for approximately 10 to 30 seconds, then its climb or descent rate builds up to a steady state over 10 to 20 seconds. During that period, the dead-reckoning altitude prediction is inaccurate and can cause false alerts. By limiting the prediction time to approximately one minute, false-alerts are reduced significantly.

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New Version of the Airspace Concept Evaluation System Delivered: Version 5.0 of the Airspace Concept Evaluation System, a fast-time simulation of the air transportation system, was delivered last week. It is faster and more robust than previous versions. Right now, it is being tested. Once attaining adequate quality, it will be made available.

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New Version of the Airspace Target Generator Delivered: A new version of the Airspace Target Generator, a real-time aircraft target synthesizer, was released last week. Its main feature is that it produces both air and ground targets. It will support research of concepts for managing air traffic on airport surfaces and in terminal airspaces.

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2007 Digital Avionics Systems Conference: NASA Ames ATM work will be discussed. A panel of US and European researchers will discuss trajectory synchrony between the air and ground. Some concepts require synchronizing separate trajectory predictors. Information gathered from this panel will improve these concepts.

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Interdivision Kickoff Meeting to Improve Verification of the Convective Weather Avoidance Model: A collaboration with the Intelligent Systems Division will improve the accuracy of the Convective Weather Avoidance Model. This model calculates areas that pilots are willing to deviate around as well as areas they may fly through. This model will help reduce lost airspace by providing more accurate regions where re-routes are required.

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Collaborative Traffic Flow Management: Collaboration between the airspace users and the air traffic service provider needs improvement. Algorithms and mathematical models are needed to conduct a simulation analysis of a previously developed concept of operations for Collaborative Traffic Flow Management. Dr. Husni Idris and Ms. Lynne Oliver of L-3 Titan Corporation, and Dr. Jimmy Krozel of Metron Aviation, Inc., presented a technical plan for modeling, simulation, and improvement of the concept of operations at a kick-off meeting held last week. This effort will address key elements of Collaborative TFM, including common constraint awareness, e.g., severe weather, impact assessment, e.g., delay or congestion estimation, and a common understanding of flow replanning and implementation. The key objective is to determine how airspace users can play a larger role and have more flexibility for their operations by enhancing collaboration with the air traffic service providers.

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Simulation of Spacecraft Rendezvous and Docking: A simulation investigation of rendezvous and docking operations in Earth orbit now on the VMS will gather data for the spacecraft handling qualities project. The docking of a Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV) with the International Space Station (ISS) will be simulated. The effect of CEV control system design variations on docking performance and pilot opinion will be investigated. In preparation for the simulation, orbital dynamic equations, CEV control laws, as well as ISS and CEV and Earth graphic models, were developed and incorporated. Typical spacecraft inceptors were added to the existing fighter cockpit. Astronauts Lee Morin and Jim Dutton evaluated the simulation and were impressed with its overall realism. They also agreed with the broader objectives of the spacecraft handling qualities project and mentioned that this simulation would provide useful information for the CEV design that is in process. Formal pilot evaluations, including some by the current Astronaut Corps, will begin in November.

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Last Updated: November 7, 2018

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