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Very-Closely-Spaced Parallel Runway Approaches II Simulation: A simulation study to investigate off-nominal information requirements and procedures for very-closely-spaced parallel runway approaches was completed August 8, 2008. The study represented a joint effort between NASA and the Raytheon Corporation and supports a milestone within the NextGen Airspace Project's Airspace Super Density Operations research focus area. New procedures, display features, and alerting algorithms were incorporated within the Advanced Concept Flight Simulator at NASA Ames. Eight retired commercial pilots participated in a series of 24 short flight scenarios. The scenarios involved three aircraft on approach to three very-closely-spaced parallel runways (750 feet between centerlines). The three aircraft flew an echelon with the simulator participants flying as either the center or the trailing aircraft in the series. Two-thirds of the flight scenarios included off-nominal events where the encroachment of another aircraft, or another aircraft's wake, required a break-out maneuver from the pilot participant. The data collected included workload, situation awareness, and aircraft navigation performance data. The data will be used to develop guidelines for information requirements and procedures for three very-closely-spaced parallel approaches, under nominal and off-nominal conditions.

NOTE: The VCSPA highlight above was a collaborative effort across three branches: AFA (Verma, Lozito), AFJ (Rager, Panda) and AFM (Ballinger). AFA was responsible as the lead research organization with AFJ and AFM providing the real-time simulation capability.

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Improved access to large airport surface and airspace datasets for research: Mosaic ATM, Inc. has completed enhancements to the Surface Operations Data Analysis and Adaptation (SODAA) tool that significantly improves access to large datasets. SODAA ingests surface and terminal surveillance data from various sources, computes and stores a wide array of derived data elements and provides researchers tools to manage, query, mine, and visualize these data. Raw data are input into a database and accessed using an open-source database program. One day's worth of DFW airspace and surface data is equivalent to 1 gigabyte or more raw data and can be retrieved in only 5 or 6 minutes allowing many days worth of data to be loaded and ready for use in only a few hours. One hundred days of data have been collected so far at the NASA North Texas Research Station, which is co-located with the FAA ARTCC located in Fort Worth, Texas.

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Ames Researchers Provide Handling Qualities Expertise to JSC's Orion Project: Ames researchers Karl Bilimoria and Eric Mueller completed two trips to Johnson Space Center (JSC) in August 2008 to provide expertise in methods for evaluating the handling qualities of the Orion vehicle in preparation for that spacecraft's Preliminary Design Review (PDR). During the first visit the researchers conveyed to JSC tips and lessons learned from Ames' comprehensive experience in conducting handling qualities evaluations and helped establish experiment and data collection procedures for JSC's pre-PDR simulation. During the second trip, which coincided with JSC's data collection period, the Ames researchers ensured the simulation was being run according to the handling qualities domain's best practices and resolved last minute problems. This transmission of expertise between centers for the accomplishment of critical Exploration Initiative milestones is a positive example of inter-Center collaboration and may ensure greater collaboration on handling qualities research after Orion's PDR.

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Last Updated: November 7, 2018

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