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HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE
07.09.08
Division Highlights

Contents
REACT Workshop: NASA researchers participated in a workshop hosted by EuroControl and the REACT Consortium - a broad team of ATC industry and research labs led by Boeing. Other participants included members of the JPDO, FAA, major aircraft and avionics manufacturers, and airlines. REACT is a EuroControl sponsored effort to elicit requirements for an aircraft intent description language that is necessary to support consistency across trajectory predictors. Based in part on prior air-ground automation integration research from the NASA Ames and Langley Research Centers, the concept solves a long-standing issue for managing the often disparate intents of pilots, controllers, and their automation systems. Managing these intents is critical to the realization of advanced trajectory-based concepts proposed by the U.S. NextGen and EuroControl SESAR programs for transforming the air traffic systems. This international workshop focused on the synchronization of trajectory information needed for future air traffic management systems. NASA researchers served as presenters, session chairs, and panel discussion members. Workshop results will be disseminated through the mailing of CDs to U.S. and European stakeholders and posting on a EuroControl website. NASA researchers also participated in a core team meeting of Action Plan 16, a FAA (NASA)/EuroControl technical team on common trajectory modeling. Results include the definition of a generic trajectory predictor structure and agreement on the collaborative development of a formal validation method. Both are critical to the development of more advanced trajectory predictors for NextGen concepts.

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Space Traffic Management (STM) research workshop: Held at NASA Ames on July 2, 2008. There were over twenty participants from Ames, UC-Santa Cruz, and Secure World Foundation. STM is an emerging technical field; its importance is growing with increasing utilization of Earth orbit resources and the associated problem of space debris. UARC's Aligned Research Project is funding UC-Santa Cruz faculty and students to work on STM, and NASA researchers are collaborating with them. This work builds upon a comprehensive STM solution outlined by a team project conducted during the International Space University (ISU) Summer Session Program in 2007. The workshop began with briefings on the foundational ISU work and the proposed follow-on UC-Santa Cruz work. Ames Center Director, Dr. Pete Worden, was present for a substantial part of these briefings. He was supportive of STM work and thought it would be a new area of research for Ames. The second part of the workshop focused on developing technical goals/directions for the project. The outcome of the workshop was a research plan to assess the cost/benefit relationships of collision avoidance rules for spacecraft in sun synchronous orbits that are available only for limited combinations of altitude and inclination.

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Optimization Model Developed for Aircraft Taxi Scheduling: As traffic demand and congestion increases, reducing the taxi time of aircraft on airport surfaces is becoming increasingly important. An optimization model for an aircraft taxi scheduling problem with an objective of reducing the total taxi delays has been developed. The proposed model improves on the previously known problem formulation in the literature and formulates the problem as a mixed integer linear program that takes into account the aircraft type and all necessary safety constraints. Solutions produced by the optimization model are then compared with the taxi times produced by a First Come First Served (FCFS) algorithm to assess the benefits of optimization. Preliminary simulation results demonstrate that approximately six minutes of taxi time per aircraft can be saved for the surface traffic at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport using the optimization model as compared to the FCFS algorithm.

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A human-in-the-loop simulation experiment to study the relationship of complexity under higher traffic densities: Conducted at the FAA Technical Center. Six Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) Certified Professional Controllers (CPCs) participated in the study to provide data for the development of an en route airspace complexity model that encompasses the effects of ground-based automation, including Data Communications and adjacent-Center time-based metering functionality. During the simulation in which 2015-2017 traffic levels were modeled, controllers provided complexity ratings for three sectors of Cleveland ARTCC airspace at regular intervals to provide a dataset with which to validate DD metric output on more than 50 measurable airspace complexity variables. Analysis is expected to be complete by late Summer 2008.

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Shipboard Landing Handling Qualities Evaluation on the VMS: A two-week simulation on the VMS compared a simulated shipboard landing task with a surrogate task called the "Superslide" for evaluating rotorcraft handling qualities during shipboard operations. The research was sponsored by the US Navy and conducted by Hoh Aeronautics, Inc. The rotorcraft shipboard landing task demands extreme precision and favorable rotorcraft handling qualities are required for a tolerable pilot workload and enhanced safety. The Superslide task, created by the National Research Council (NRC), Canada, simulates the precision and workload of an actual shipboard landing task in a land-based environment. The rotorcraft math model was implemented in FlightLab, Advanced Rotorcraft Technology's (ARTi) simulation and modeling language, and was resident on a Linux computer networked with the VMS host computer. The simulation exercised the Sea State modeling capability in the new EPX-5000 image generating system on the VMS for the first time. Following some significant development activity ARTi's math model was successfully integrated with the Sea State and ship models as well as the Superslide hover board. Sea States ranging from 3 (calm seas) to 6 (heavy seas) were simulated. The piloted evaluations compared the handling qualities ratings based on the ship motions at each of the sea states with the simulated ship motion on the Superslide display positioned on the Moffett Field visual database. Approximately 220 data runs were collected from two pilots from the NRC, Canada with prior experience with shipboard landings as well as the surrogate Superslide task.

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Last Updated: November 7, 2018

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