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HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE
05.25.11
Division Highlights

Contents
Photo showing the external view of the Vertical Motion Simulator cab.
Vertical Motion Simulator

Speed Agile Concept Demonstrator (SACD) Simulation on the Vertical Motion Simulator
The first of a two-part simulation of the Boeing SACD concept aircraft was completed in April 2011. Boeing engineers with help from SimLabs simulation engineers integrated a flight dynamics model of the SACD aircraft in the Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) and conducted an experiment to understand the aircraft's handling qualities, evaluate the baseline flight control system, assess the landing/take-off field length performance, and to gather data to set flying qualities requirements for future vehicles of this class. Several Boeing test pilots participated in the experiment, testing three different control systems over different flying tasks in approximately 1000 data runs. The Boeing engineers and pilots described the VMS support and capabilities as “exceptional.” In the second part of the simulation, NASA's Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) will evaluate an innovative control system, Control Allocation for Pilot-Induced Oscillation (CAPIO), using the Boeing SACD model. (POC: Steven Beard)

Example of a dynamic weather reroute.
Example of a dynamic weather reroute | Description

New Ground-Based Capability Prototyped that Dynamically Finds Time-Saving Weather Avoidance Routes
A new function that automatically finds alternative convective weather routes that save time and fuel for en-route aircraft has been implemented in the Center/TRACON Automation System (CTAS). Convective weather is the biggest cause of delay in the National Airspace System, and automation does not exist to help airline dispatchers and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) traffic managers to continuously reevaluate today's static weather avoidance routes, which are typically put in place before an aircraft departs. Dynamic Weather Routes integrates trajectory-based automation designed for Center radar controllers, convective weather modeling that predicts the growth and movement of storms, and algorithms to automatically compute minimum-delay routes around weather cells. Simple route changes that save flying time—10 min. per flight is typical—and avoid downstream weather are automatically computed. The user interface enables quick visualization and modification of the route, if necessary. The route changes are automatically formatted for voice or data link clearance delivery using currently available air/ground data communication capabilities. The next step is to run the automation in the lab to determine benefit potential using actual traffic over several weather days and to quantify the difference in benefit for aircraft with and without data link equipage. Preliminary results suggest a potential savings of 350 minutes flying time over 5 hours of weather-impacted operations in one en route Center. (POC: Dave McNally)

Photo showing researchers at controller stations in the NASA Ames ATC Simulation Lab during a shakedown simulation.
NASA researchers evaluate the performance of NextGen ATM technologies using TAPSS.

New Capability for the Terminal Area Precision Scheduling and Spacing System Developed for Off-Nominal Conditions
The Terminal Area Precision Scheduling and Spacing (TAPSS) system, which has shown in high fidelity simulations the ability to simultaneously achieve both capacity increasing and environmental benefits for high density airports, has added a new capability. TAPSS has become a key component in the first Air traffic management Technology Demonstration. To ensure the robustness of the TAPSS technology for the demonstration and eventual technology transfer to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), automation to address off-nominal conditions is required. These conditions include problems as simple as schedule non-conformance and as complex as re-scheduling for aircraft that are conducting go-around procedures after aborted landings. Initial human-in-the-loop simulations in April and May have tested the new go-around simulation capability and the automation algorithms for both the re-conformance and re-scheduling functionality. Formal experiments are being planned for June and September of 2011 for a thorough evaluation of these new capabilities. (POC: Harry Swenson, Jane Thipphavong)

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