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HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE
12.08.10
Division Highlights

Contents
Controller-in-the-Loop Evaluation of Efficient Descent Advisor Underway
A controller-in-the-loop simulation of the Efficient Descent Advisor (EDA) is underway in the air traffic control lab of the Crew-Vehicle Simulation Research Facility (CVSRF). The objective of the simulation is to evaluate the performance of EDA in the presence of trajectory-prediction uncertainty, introduced through error models of aircraft weight, forecast winds, and path-stretch-turnout delay. These error models are tuned to approximate the top-of-descent and arrival-time errors observed in recent EDA field tests at Denver Center. In simulation dry runs completed the week of November 29th with former Denver Center controllers, EDA software performed well and was robust to a wide range of arrival management techniques. Testing with active-duty controllers began December 6th and will continue through December 15th. This activity is the fourth in a series of human-in-the-loop simulations aimed at developing EDA for transfer to the FAA under the 3D-Path Arrival Management (3D-PAM) Research Transition Team. This is also the first EDA simulation involving National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) representatives.

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Operational Based Vision Assessment (OBVA) Program
The Aerospace Simulation Research and Development Branch (SimLabs, code AFS) successfully completed a major milestone for the Air Force's OBVA program by developing a small-scale, single projector, part-task simulator visual system. The system demonstrated the feasibility of building an eye-limiting visual system for a flight simulator and using it for clinical research on the effect of vision on a pilot's operational performance. Based on the successful demonstration, the Air Force is supporting development of a full-scale, turnkey flight simulator with an eye-limiting visual system to be used for vision research at Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB). The simulator will be completed and delivered to WPAFB in March 2012. The OBVA program is a joint effort between SimLabs and the Exploration Technology Directorate at Ames and the Air Force Research Laboratory, Mesa, Arizona.

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Technical Interchange meeting with NASA and MIT-Lincoln Laboratory
On December 7th, NASA Ames hosted a technical interchange with MIT-Lincoln Laboratory where approximately 40 researchers and managers discussed ideas for collaboration. A total of eight technical presentations were provided from both NASA and MIT-Lincoln Laboratory. The topics included Lincoln Laboratory's work in surface traffic management, improved airport winds forecasting, convective weather translation modeling, automated methods in optimizing decision making for conflict avoidance, and Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) airspace access. NASA presented their surface management research, the development and deployment of a method to improve en route departure scheduling, and concepts and results of a trajectory-based operations simulation. There were numerous discussions of potential collaboration and more detailed follow-on discussions are planned.

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Airspace Sector Combining Algorithm Presented at FAA's High Altitude Airspace Technical Interchange Meeting
Dr. Robert Windhorst and Mr. Michael Bloem, researchers in the Systems Modeling and Optimization branch (code AFO) participated in the FAA High Altitude Airspace Technical Interchange Meeting on November 18-19, 2010 at MITRE in McLean, Virginia. The meeting was organized by the FAA Operations Planning group, and researchers from NASA Ames, industry, and academia working on the FAA's High Altitude Concept gathered to communicate high altitude airspace concepts, analyses, simulation results and to discuss future research opportunities. Mr. Bloem described an algorithm that can help air traffic control supervisors determine when and where to combine airspace sectors, a task they do today without sector combining decision-support. He presented simulation results that show that this algorithm can identify sector combinations that reduce congested airspace with only a small increase in sector reconfigurations. Researchers from the FAA and other institutions expressed interest in further collaboration with the Aviation Systems Division.

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New Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) Systems Analysis Project Holds Initial Summit at JPDO
A new systems analysis project for assessing costs and benefits of technologies in the ARMD research portfolio held a summit meeting Nov. 30 - Dec. 1, 2010, in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the meeting was to develop a roadmap to integrate and leverage ongoing systems analyses among the JPDO, ARMD Programs, and NASA's Research Centers. Ames branch chiefs from the Systems Modeling and Optimization Branch (AFO) and Systems Analysis and Integration Branch (AUS), along with researchers and chiefs from Langley Research Center, Glenn Research Center, Dryden Flight Research Center, JPDO, and industry, attended the meeting. Ongoing systems analyses efforts were briefed. The attendees agreed that the next steps are to establish, document, and configuration control a set of metrics, scenarios, and demand cases.

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Visit from director of the German Aerospace laboratories (Deutschen Zentrums für Luft und Raumfahrt – DLR), Prof. Johann-Dietrich Wörner
The Aviation Systems Division's FutureFlight Central hosted a small delegation from DLR on December 7, 2010. Dr. Banavar Sridhar and Dr. Yoon Jung provided presentations on their current work on environmental impact of contrails and surface traffic management. Some initial exploration of potential collaboration with DLR has begun with the environmental research, and the surface research area has been the focus of some ongoing collaborations between the Aviation Systems Division and DLR. The delegation also toured the tower cab simulator of FutureFlight Central.

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