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HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE
07.23.09
Division Highlights

Contents
Computationally Efficient Traffic Flow Optimization: The scheduling of air traffic flows under current day operations is a manual task that is accomplished with little automation. In the future, advanced optimization techniques will be used to maximize the performance of the national airspace system subject to both airport and airspace constraints. The major cost is the inherent computational intractability of solving such large-scale optimization problems. To mitigate this intractability, an innovative approach that leverages the well-known Dantzig-Wolfe decomposition technique is applied to a known linear integer programming approach for assigning delays to flights. This technique was shown to produce near-optimal solutions that were hundreds of times faster than standard (non-decomposed) approaches. More importantly, these results indicate that nationwide, real-time, high-fidelity, optimal traffic flow scheduling is achievable for (at least) 3-hour planning horizons. The final results of this study will be presented for peer review feedback at the AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference that will be held in Chicago, IL from August 10-13.

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ACES Software Development Contract Awarded to Raytheon: A five-year contract for support and maintenance of a simulation of the air transportation system, named ACES, was awarded in June 2009 to a team led by Raytheon. Raytheon's team members are Sensis, Intelligent Automation Inc., Mosaic ATM, Aerospace Computing Inc., and PDA Associates. Since the award, the team visited NASA Ames to kickoff the development work and to meet with researchers. The first year's requirements for development in support of Dynamic Airspace Configuration, Traffic Flow Management, Super Density Operations, and Separation Assurance were identified. The development will be coordinated with on-site development performed at Ames.

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NTX Visit: On July 8-10 a group of researchers working on the Airportal Project visited the NTX Facility, DFW TRACON, and American Airlines facilities to learn about operational tools and events, as well as to discuss possible shared resources and efforts within the Project and at the DFW airport and airline center. At NTX, the Ames researchers learned about the various research efforts and tools available at the NTX facility, such as the Surface Management System and Collaborative Arrival Planner. During the visit to the DFW TRACON (East Air Traffic Control Tower), the observations and discussions included some of the recent operational procedures for DFW, such as Runway Status Lights and Perimeter Taxiway assessments. The researchers also visited the American Airlines Ramp Tower to better understand practical issues associated with spot assignment, fuel savings implementations, and de-icing procedures. On the last day, they visited American Airlines Systems Operation Center to learn about airline scheduling procedures and tools, and non-normal events and planning, such as holding and aircraft emergencies.

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