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HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE
08.19.09
Division Highlights

Contents
Friends and Partners of Aviation Weather Forum: The aviation weather research community held a forum on July 22. At the forum, the Joint Planning and Development Office Weather Working Group presented future aviation weather capabilities that will help stakeholders make better decisions. They focused on net-centric 4D Weather Cube operations. Net-centric operations refer to improved distribution of weather information via the Internet, and the 4D Weather Cube is a data repository that creates a common picture of the weather. Traffic managers and researchers, including those at Ames, will be able to access weather products in the repository. A subset of the repository is known as the Single Authoritative Source. This subset facilitates the integration of weather information into decision-support tools. Advancing the 4D Weather Cube from a research product to an operational product with user support was also discussed. Demonstrations of the 4D Weather Cube and other weather products are being made available on the Internet.

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Air Traffic Management Research Presented at AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies Conference: Air Traffic Management researchers presented their work at the AIAA Modeling and Simulation Technologies conference in Chicago, IL that was held from August 10-13. Researchers made two presentations and chaired the Air Traffic Management Modeling and Simulation Tools special panel session. One presentation described the development and results generated using a fast-time airport surface simulation tool called the Surface Operations Simulator and Scheduler. It is a simulation platform with plug-in architecture to facilitate the quick integration of several airport surface scheduling algorithms. Simulation results show that there is the potential for significant savings in delay over a commonly used First-Come-First-Served (FCFS) algorithm using an Enhanced-FCFS at the Dallas Fort-Worth International airport. This enhanced algorithm uses a dynamic programming module for departure scheduling, a heuristic to schedule arrival aircraft crossing a departure runway, and FCFS heuristics along the taxiway. Results show Enhanced-FCFS had a 20.0% improvement in delay over FCFS. In another simulation, Enhanced-FCFS had a 33.1% improvement in delay over FCFS. The other presentation described a research plan for conducting a human-in-the-loop simulation to evaluate a concept of operations to reduce and eliminate hold short operations. This concept improves the timing of arrival and departure aircraft by automating the departure clearance process. The process allows departure aircraft to take off in time to allow arrival aircraft to land and continue taxi without waiting to cross the active departure runway. The panel session provided an overview of modeling and simulation tools used for Air Traffic Management (ATM) research. Presentations spanned a wide range of ATM applications that included simulating and modeling Traffic Flow Management and airport surface procedures and the development of scenarios for seeding these simulations. Panel members gave a demonstration of their ATM modeling and simulation tools and described how they can be used for ATM research.

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NASA and Stanford student researchers present results of collaborative research: NASA Ames is collaborating with Stanford University on a safety analysis of the Automated Airspace Concept (AAC), a candidate next-generation separation assurance system. Project objectives included: (1) estimating the rate of mid-air collision given deployment of AAC and related technologies, (2) identifying dependencies among the 4 AAC subsystems (Auto-Resolver, Tactical Separation Assured Flight Environment, Traffic Collision Avoidance System, and pilot visual avoidance), and (3) suggesting opportunities to reduce risk. Preliminary results from the joint study were presented to NASA Ames managers and engineers. The safety-critical AAC system was estimated to have a mean time between mid-air collisions in enroute airspace of about 119 years, which exceeds federal requirements for an automated separation assurance function. Improving conflict detection performance was identified as the most effective way to reduce overall risk. In addition, multiple AAC subsystems were found to be dependent on the same components: on-board mode S transponders, conflict resolution readers, and cockpit speakers. Feedback from this meeting is currently being incorporated into the simulation to refine the analysis.

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