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Former Ames Senior Scientist for Air Traffic Management Elected to National Academy of Engineering: Ames retiree and former Senior Scientist for Air Traffic Management Dr. Heinz Erzberger, currently serving on an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignment at Ames from UC Santa Cruz, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering. His election is a major career milestone and a credit to his years of service to Ames Research Center. Past Ames' electees include former Center Director Clarence “Sy” Syvertson and former Ames Chief Test Pilot, George Cooper. All three are members of the NASA Ames Hall of Fame.

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Environmental NRA workshop held at NASA Ames Research Center: The third environmental NRA workshop was held at NASA Ames Research Center on February 24. The NRA team led by Metron Aviation presented results of emissions and noise computations based on their Environmental Planner tool. Attendees included researchers from Metron Aviation, George Mason University, NASA, and UARC. The Environmental Planner uses emissions, noise, and/or fuel in an optimization algorithm to reduce environmental impacts while achieving efficient surface operations. NASA discussed the human-in-the-loop surface simulation of the Spot and Runway Departure Advisory (SARDA) tool that was completed in December 2009. The NASA team also presented the new modular and extensible architecture of Surface Management System software that could be used in this effort. A third year goal of this NRA activity is to 1) refine the Environmental Planner algorithms, 2) conduct extensive sensitivity analyses with varying environmental and operational parameters, and 3) develop a high level design of system architecture with input/output specifications of each component in the system.

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Identifying the Advanced Concept Flight Simulator (ACFS) Motion Dynamics: A recent study on the ACFS identified and documented its motion system dynamics and cueing algorithms. The study used recently published International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirements and procedures for characterizing and certifying flight training simulator motion cueing systems. The FAA actively participated in the study as they are considering adopting similar test procedures for certifying flight training simulators motion systems. The study used the newly acquired Simulator Evaluation System (SIMES) from SAIC that included precision motion sensors and system identification software. SimLabs designed and fabricated a custom mounting for the motion sensors to optimize the quality of the motion data. Simlabs and the FAA will use the results of the study and the lessons learned to improve the motion system testing procedure. A similar study on the Boeing 747-400 simulator later this year will test these improved procedures.

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Metron Aviation Improves the Airspace Concept Evaluation System's Ability to Model Future Airspace Designs: Rohit Sharma of Intelligent Automation, Inc. and Arash Yousefi of Metron Aviation presented a final briefing and a demonstration of the Dynamic Airspace Design Service (DADS). The purpose of DADS is to provide a common framework for integrating various Dynamic Airspace Concept (DAC) algorithms into airspace simulations. The goal is to enable simulations to use a variety of DAC algorithms via the DADS framework, thereby allowing users to test and analyze the benefits from using different DAC algorithms in a simulation without having to custom integrate each algorithm independently. The presentation and demonstration focused on the DADS interface to the Airspace Concept Evaluation System (ACES).

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FAA Interest in a Nearer-Term EDA Tool: The FAA has expressed interest in an interim version of the Efficient Descent Advisor (EDA) to assist with sector-oriented, time-based metering operations. This near-term (approximately 2012 to 2015) capability would leverage EDA algorithms for meeting scheduled times of arrival computed by the Traffic Management Advisor (TMA) for optimal throughput. This interim tool would assist controllers using TMA for both en route and arrival metering. The FAA views this capability as a means to enhance the effectiveness of TMA in the near term, while providing an incremental step for introducing the full range of EDA capabilities into the system architecture. The FAA's desire for this interim technology was expressed during recent meetings in Washington, DC, conducted with the FAA service-level organizations (ATO-E and ATO-R) responsible for TMA and En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM). Further discussions with the FAA are needed to better define the desired capabilities, development process, and deployment schedule associated with this interim tool. This topic will be discussed during the next NASA/FAA Efficient Flow into Congested Airspace (EFICA) Research Transition Team (RTT) meeting.

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Last Updated: November 7, 2018

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