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HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE
10.13.10
Division Highlights

Contents This image shows NASA researchers in the Air Traffic Management Laboratory at NASA Ames Research Center.

Terminal Area Precision Scheduling System (TAPSS) Team Completes 4 weeks of Human-in-the-Loop simulations
Four weeks of Human-in-the-Loop simulations evaluating terminal area scheduling decision support tools were completed in September 2010. The simulations helped in the evaluation of the concept of precision metering with staged delay distribution to account for uncertainty within the system and also investigated environmentally-friendly, or “green” procedures in high-density airspace. The simulation focused on traffic arriving at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), a single high-flow airport, in a complex Metroplex airspace within the Southern California terminal radar approach control (TRACON). Controllers staffed three Air Route Traffic Control Center arrival-metering sectors, three TRACON Feeder Positions and two Final Positions. Initial results using the TAPSS decision support tools showed close to a 20% increase in airport throughput when using more fuel-efficient aircraft maneuvers, and lower controller workload when compared to current-day airport operations. In the first two-week period, specific features of the decision support tools were evaluated, and results compared well with previous Monte-Carlo analytical simulations that were used for the scheduling and controller tool design. In the second two-week period, today's arrival LAX operations were compared to the TAPSS tool-enhanced environment. The demand on the airport was varied from current day levels to anticipated traffic levels in 2020. The simulation was demonstrated to senior FAA managers, the NASA Advisory Committee, and the NASA Administrator.

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Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance System Simulation
SimLabs (Code AFS, the Aerospace Simulation Research and Development Branch) recently completed the second in a series of distributed controller-in-the-loop simulations at NASA Ames' Crew-Vehicle Systems Research Facility (CVSRF). The simulations investgated the integration and safe operation of the US Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) and allowed researchers to examine BAMS collision avoidance displays and processes in a highly realistic instrument flight rules (IFR) and oceanic air traffic environment. The experiment leveraged the Live-Virtual-Constructive Distributed Environment (LVC-DE) infrastructure of five networked facilities across the US that was developed during last year's BAMS experiment. The BAMS mission control station, located at the Northrop Grumman facility in Bethpage, NY, “flew” the BAMS UAS in an offshore IFR and oceanic air traffic environment off the East Coast of the US that was modeled and simulated at SimLabs. Navy command and control aircraft, as well as “encounter” traffic were simulated at NAS Pax River, MD, while real-time data analysis took place at the SIMAF facilities Wright-Patterson AFB, OH. A cross-domain solution located at Redstone Arsenal, AL enabled the distributed simulation to occur simultaneously at two different levels of security classification. SimLabs provided airspace and air traffic models, tailored oceanic air traffic control displays and ARINC operator interfaces, as well as air traffic controllers and pseudo-pilots. Following three integration activities to test the simulation and scenarios, a formal four-day simulation with humans-in-the-loop was conducted. Future BAMS experiments will continue to leverage SimLabs facilities, including the B747-400 simulator, to answer questions related to equipping UAS with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS).

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NASA Aeronautics Research presented at Ames Public Lecture
Dr. Banavar Sridhar, Dr. Kapil Sheth, and Mr. Richard Coppenbarger presented in the last of a series of four public lecture/panel discussions describing NASA's research and how such research impacts the daily life of the general public. The Aviation Systems Division researchers described their aeronautics work on environmental impact of aviation operations, traffic flow management, and procedures and technologies for efficient descents into terminal airspace. The presentations were tailored to an audience of interested members of the public, rather than technical or academic experts. The hour-long presentations were followed by a question and answer session that lasted another hour. Seventy-five members of the community attended and were very engaged, asking excellent questions. A recording of the lecture is available online.

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Airline Users Forum hosted at NASA Ames
Aviation Systems Division researchers and managers participated in the Airspace Systems Program's Users' Forum, held at NASA Ames Research Center on October 6-7, 2010. Representatives from several major airlines (including Alaska, FedEx, Continental, American, and UPS), the Air Transport Association (ATA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and NASA convened to discuss some of NASA's air traffic management research and gain the users' perspective on operational issues and support for air traffic management research efforts. Division researchers presented research on the environmental impact of aviation operations, surface scheduling algorithms, terminal area precision scheduling, and trajectory based operations with air/ground datalink communications. The users expressed interest in the concepts presented, and agreed to continue a dialog with NASA to further understand potential benefits and help provide a broader exposure to the user community.

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Dynamic Airspace Configuration (DAC) Final NASA Research Announcement (NRA) Briefings
The DAC research team hosted a final meeting On September 29 through October 1, 2010, with the three DAC NRA contractors, Mosaic ATM, CSSI, and Metron Aviation. The three NRAs developed methods for dynamically designing and modifying airspace boundaries to manage airspace capacity to demand. Using a technical interchange meeting format, each of the three contractors presented a summary of their work for the past three years with emphasis on the more recent accomplishments. The contractors also demonstrated their airspace partitioning software.

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