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HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE
12.09.09
Division Highlights

Contents
Successful Human-in-the-Loop Simulation of EDA: A simulation of the Efficient Descent Advisor (EDA) was completed on December 4. The simulation was conducted with four air traffic controllers from Denver Center as test subjects. The purpose was to evaluate the EDA's ability to resolve separation conflicts while satisfying time-based metering constraints at the terminal airspace boundary. Controllers were rotated through three adjacent sectors in northeast Denver Center airspace that fed two streams of arrival traffic to a single metering fix. Over three days of testing, twelve 90-minute simulation scenarios were tested with traffic density ranging from medium to heavy. Controllers commented that the scenarios were both realistic and demanding. The majority of separation conflicts were introduced by over-flying aircraft passing through the arrival corridor. Preliminary results indicate that EDA successfully computed conflict-free, on-time arrival solutions resulting in a continuous descent to the meter fix for over 95% of the arrival traffic. Data were collected to assess the accuracy of EDA trajectory computations and their effectiveness in keeping aircraft properly separated and in conformance with their time-based metering constraints. Controller feedback gathered through questionnaires and debriefings will be used to refine EDA's algorithms and improve its user-interface design. Detailed analyses and results are forthcoming.

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San Francisco Stratus Research Briefed to the SFO Customer Forum: More Ground Delay Programs (GDPs) are implemented at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) than any other airport in the United States. These GDPs are a result of the marine stratus layer that routinely reduces the airport's arrival capacity from 60 to 30 aircraft per hour during the morning arrival rush between May and October. A Monte-Carlo based approach that uses a probabilistic forecast of the marine stratus clearance time has been developed to support the planning of GDPs for SFO. A joint NASA-FAA field assessment of this model is scheduled for May through October of 2010. In preparation for this assessment, the SFO GDP planning model and the field assessment plans were briefed at the SFO Customer Forum on November 19, 2009. This meeting was held at SFO and the list of attendees included representatives from Oakland Center, Northern California TRACON, SFO, and numerous airlines, such as United Airlines and Alaska Airlines. Overall the briefing was very well received, and the participants were receptive to participating in the upcoming field trials.

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National Airspace Plan Workshop: On November 17-19, NASA Ames hosted the first National Airspace Plan (NAP) workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to inform the Strategic Planning Advisory Review Cadre (SPARC), a cross domain operations team, on airspace research activities and the FAA's draft NAP version 0.01. NASA gave briefings on the NextGen Concepts and Technologies Development project and Dynamic Airspace Configuration research to inform SPARC about future concepts that may eventually be reflected in the plan. This information was incorporated in to NAP version 1.0 which SPARC will review in early January and use to conduct scenario based planning for the FAA.

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Last Updated: November 7, 2018

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