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HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE
11.13.07 Division Highlights

Contents
Airspace Concept Evaluation System Software Development Brief: The Airspace Concept Evaluation System (ACES) software development team gave a brief of work performed last year. Since 2001 the Raytheon led team has been building ACES, which is a computer simulation of the air transportation system. The brief covered two versions, ACES 5.0 and ACES X. ACES 5.0 is robust and validated, and it will be distributed to government, industry, and academic users. ACES X is a prototype, containing the basic models on which models of future air traffic control concepts can be built. These simulate flight transit through airport surfaces and terminal and enroute airspaces and track flight schedules. In addition, ACES X has models for estimating arrival times and detecting conflicts. During the brief, discussed model details and demonstrated setup, execution, and post-processing.

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ATC Lab Upgrade: The CVSRF Air Traffic Control laboratory has been undergoing an extensive upgrade. Last year the lab was able to acquire FAA “excessed” hardware from Oakland Center, allowing for a more realistic hands-on experience and actual appearance of an ATC facility. The staff added standard keyboards and specialized trackballs to increase the fidelity of the controller station. The software solution to flexibility is duel bootable computers, able to run Windows and Solaris 10. This allows researchers the option to choose MACS or ATG as operational software. The lab is currently configured with 6 FAA consoles, an administrative workstation and 5 pseudo pilot stations. The consoles can be configured as either TRACON or Center sectors, and also double as pseudo pilot stations. There are 4 more consoles and displays that may be added to the lab upon customer need. The communications system is still in the design stage. The overriding purpose of the upgrade is fidelity and flexibility.

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Aircraft trajectory database delivered to support NASA aircraft trajectory prediction research: The first version of a NASA Trajectory Prediction database was completed by L-3 Communications and installed at NASA Ames Research Center. This database runs on an Open Source database program on multiple UNIX platforms. It contains a sample of archived radar derived aircraft track data from various sources. The aircraft track and prediction data are based on an archive of 1995 field test data and more recent radar data. NASA will use these data to determine airline procedures and trajectory prediction uncertainty. These data will be used to support work for the Trajectory Prediction, Synthesis, and Uncertainty element of the Airspace Project. Future deliverables will include larger samples and additional sources of data.

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NASA Researchers Brainstorm Next-Generation Time-Based Flow Management with FAA System Operations: At the end of October, the FAA's System Operations organization representatives briefed NASA Ames Research Center ATM researchers on the deployment of the Traffic Management Advisor (TMA). TMA, a time-based traffic management tool, was developed and tested by NASA Ames Research Center and successfully transferred to the FAA. In September 2007, the FAA completed deployment of TMA to all the US En-Route Centers. The FAA is now interested in building upon this TMA infrastructure to eventually develop an "end-to-end" time-based flow management capability. They are investigating integrating a conflict probe capability and adding surface traffic management input. In addition, they hope to support environmentally friendly Continuous Descent Approaches (CDAs) as well as enable dynamic airspace. They also are interested in deriving alternatives to first-come, first-serve scheduling. All of these are key areas of research in NASA's Airspace Systems Program.

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Critical Design Review of AvDemand Complete: NASA Ames Research Center and Sensis Corporation engineers completed the Critical Design Review of an AvDemand upgrade. AvDemand is a software tool that generates future air traffic demand sets used in NASA ATM experiments. It creates demand sets which reflect forecast changes in the US airline industry and the larger economy, among other variables. AvDemand previously supported only fast-time simulation platforms, but the recent upgrade will enable support of real-time simulation as well. The output will be in a generic format that is easily imported into any NASA simulation facility. This capability can be used to validate experimental results between simulation platforms of increasing fidelity. The AvDemand upgrade will be ready to support fast-time and real-time simulation experiments in Spring, 2008.

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ATCA Recognizes TMA Team: The Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) awarded its "Earl F. Ward Memorial Award" to the Traffic Management Advisor team at the ATCA Conference in Atlantic City this week. The award recognizes an outstanding achievement which has added to the quality, safety or efficiency of air traffic control. The award was accepted by the FAA's Mr. Bryan Bagstad, who led the FAA team that deployed TMA nationwide.

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Last Updated: November 7, 2018

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