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HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE
04.30.09
Division Highlights

Contents
Space Shuttle Landing and Rollout Training: The first Space Shuttle astronaut training session for 2009 was completed recently on the Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS). This periodic training familiarizes shuttle crews with vehicle handling during approach, landing, and rollout under normal operating conditions as well as off-nominal and failure conditions. Over the two-week training session, 19 pilots and 8 mission specialists completed 274 training runs. Crews for upcoming STS-125, STS-127, STS-128, STS-129, STS-130, and STS-131 missions were included in the training. The STS-126 crew which completed their mission on November 30, 2008 re-lived their landing in the simulator. These post-mission simulations on the VMS provide important data on the effectiveness of the training and help refine approach and landing procedures. The STS-119 crew was not originally scheduled for training but was added at the end of the training session, less than two weeks after the completion of their mission. The STS-119 flight delivered the final pair of power-generating solar array wings and truss element to the space station. The VMS personnel quickly prepared the STS-119's flight winds and simulation setup so the crew could review their landing in the simulator. The crew commented that the simulation accurately replicated their actual landing.

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Electronic Submission of Airline Preferences Reported as Feasible at Collaborative Decision-Making General Meeting: On April 23-24, NASA researchers attended the spring Collaborative Decision-Making (CDM) General Meeting held in San Diego, California. The attendees were mainly a mix of FAA, airline and contractor personnel. The sub-teams met two days before the general meeting to finalize their briefings. The Future Concepts for Traffic Flow Management sub-team, on which NASA is represented, demonstrated the System Enhancements for Versatile Electronic Negotiation concept. In this concept, the airlines electronically submit their flight plan preferences, and the FAA awards the best possible route, minimizing constrained resource impact. Results from the human-in-the-loop experiments conducted during March indicate that the concept is operationally feasible. As a part of the Surface CDM sub-team briefing, a Eurocontrol representative described the approach taken for surface CDM at airports in Europe. On Wednesday, April 23, each of the teams presented the operational enhancements being considered for the 2009 summer season. On Thursday, April 24, subject matter experts presented their insight on Surface Operations, Traffic Management Advisor, and Traffic Flow Management Modernization programs in panel discussions. The FAA and airline participants agreed that Traffic Management Advisor, a tool developed by NASA, is helpful but should be augmented to consider equity when assigning delays.

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Improved Air Traffic Controller and Pilot Audio Monitoring System now Operational at North Texas Research Station (NTX): The Terminal Area Radio Telecast System (TARTS) system has been recently enhanced. TARTS is a remote control air-band scanner that enables researchers and analysts to monitor controller and pilot communications in the Dallas/Fort Worth region. TARTS can be accessed via a secure connection from authorized computers. Recent enhancements include hardware audio encoding to minimize latency. Audio delivery has been improved by using both Adobe Flash and MP3 encoded streams to simplify user access. This is a useful tool for NextGen researchers as they gain valuable insights when ATC surveillance data are augmented with controller and pilot communications.

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