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HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE
03.04.09
Division Highlights

Contents
NASA Sponsored Dynamic Airspace Configuration Workshop: On February 17-19, NASA hosted a workshop on Dynamic Airspace Configuration. Participants included representatives from Eurocontrol, AENA, FAA, and MITRE and research partners from industry and academia. A variety of topics were presented and discussed. Presentation topics included a proposal for a new way of vertically organizing airspace, human factors issues related to complexity and controllability, identification of the appropriate time to switch from one airspace configuration to another and algorithms for incrementally designing minor airspace adaptations from the current structure. The mix of presentations and discussions allowed interaction between researchers, airspace designers, and operations experts. The results from this workshop will be used to document progress and issues and to refine future research

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Simulation Tool for Rapid Prototyping of Surface Optimization Algorithms: The Surface Operations Simulator and Scheduler (SOS2) was developed to quickly develop and test airport surface scheduling algorithms. Results of the algorithms can be visualized as simulated aircraft movement using Google Earth. Finding optimal solutions for surface scheduling are generally computationally difficult so it is beneficial to develop fast algorithms that can produce high quality solutions. SOS2 can test surface optimization algorithms up to 8000 times real-time speed while considering the safety and operational constraints of the airport. This simulator has been used to analyze surface traffic at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Recently, a first-come, first-served algorithm was used to determine how well SOS2 simulates actual surface traffic movement at DFW. Initial results show the scheduler performs reasonably well in predicting taxi time, taxi delay, and aircraft arrival and departure rates. More analyses are being conducted. Plans for SOS2 include using it evaluate surface optimization algorithms with increased demand at DFW.

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Joint Airportal/Airspace Project Metroplex Workshop: The Second Metroplex Workshop was held at Georgia Institute of Technology on February 25-26, 2009. The workshop gathered together members from the three joint Airportal/Airspace Metroplex Operations NRA teams, Airportal and Airspace project leaders and researchers, and other NASA contractors performing related research activities for the projects. There were a total of 30 participants. The three NRA teams are led by Georgia Tech, George Mason University, and Mosaic ATM. Also present were researchers from team members Sensis Corporation, Metron Aviation, ATAC, L3 Communications, and Purdue University. Each of the teams briefed the workshop participants on their research and findings since the first workshop, and their plans for finishing out these NRA efforts, all due to expire on or around the end of FY09. Highlights of these presentations included efforts to characterize metroplex interdependencies in today's operations and to identify new concepts, technologies, and procedures that could mitigate these interdependencies and safely increase throughput. The teams presented experiment plans to develop several metroplex management scenarios, utilizing spatial and temporal concepts for aircraft separation. These scenarios are to be tested in a fast-time simulation environment to provide an initial look at potential improvements to metroplex operations that could be realized within the 2025 timeframe, including mid-term ideas for the 2015-2018 timeframe. Participants were also briefed on Airportal's System-Oriented Runway Management (SORM) and Coordinated Arrival/Departure Runway Scheduling (CADRS) research. This work and the metroplex research will be closely coordinated within the Airportal and Airspace projects to develop and test advanced metroplex operational concepts over the next five years.

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