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Photo of three participants sitting at air traffic controller simulation stations during a TAPSS shakedown experiment.
NASA researchers participate as air traffic controllers during TAPSS shakedown simulations in NASA's Air Traffic Management Laboratory

The third set of Terminal Area Precision Scheduling and Spacing (TAPSS)-3 experiments was completed in November-December 2011
TAPSS technologies were evaluated in two weeks of high-fidelity human-in-the-loop simulations to assess the feasibility, performance and potential benefits for near-term application in the National Airspace System (NAS). Major preliminary findings are: 1) the system is robust to airport routing infrastructure with a limited set of Area Navigation (RNAV)/ Required Navigation Performance (RNP) procedures, and actually allows those RNAV/RNP procedures to co-exist with the more common arrival procedures, and 2) that for very-high density operations, the advanced controller display enhancements were necessary to gain the full advantage of the TAPSS technology of 10% increase in airport throughput and the 50% increase in efficient descents. Teams from Raytheon and General Electric Aviation visited the simulation to evaluate implications for implementation in the FAA's Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) as well as impact to the avionics community. Ames also hosted representatives of the FAA's Advanced Technology and Prototyping office that may consider this technology to meet some of the FAA's NextGen implementation goals. (POC: Harry Swenson and Jane Thipphavong)

Photo of an air traffic controller using EDA decision support tools during a simulation.
The Efficient Descent Advisor

NASA Completes Transfer of Efficient Descent Advisor Technology to FAA
NASA successfully completed transfer of its Efficient Descent Advisor (EDA) technology to the FAA's 4D Advanced Arrivals Project. The technology supports the FAA's Three-Dimensional Path Arrival Management (3D-PAM) concept for more fuel- and time-efficient arrival operations in congested airspace. EDA is also expected to be a key element in the FAA's Ground-based Interval Management system. The final tech transfer deliverables, which included the complete software prototype and source code, were transmitted to FAA on November 30, successfully meeting NASA's longstanding commitment to the FAA. (POC: Richard Coppenbarger)

Prototype of Improved Terminal Area Scheduling Model
An initial prototype of the Event-Based Stochastic Simulation of Terminal airspace OpeRations (ESSTOR) has been completed. This new simulation is an extension of the Stochastic Terminal Area Scheduling Simulation (STASS) which has been used for fast-time simulations to investigate aircraft arrival concepts. ESSTOR is event based, which will eventually enable the simulation of multiple, concurrent schedulers. It currently models the FAA's Traffic Management Advisor scheduler with greater fidelity than the previous STASS simulation. An effort is currently underway to develop input data sets from recorded TMA data. (POC: Larry Meyn)

Photo of Captain Sullenberger flying in the shuttle cab in the Vertical Motion Simulator
Captain “Sully” Sullenberger takes a ride in the shuttle cab in the Vertical Motion Simulator

Captain Sullenberger tours the VMS
Captain Chelsey B. “Sully” Sullenberger, toured the Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) on December 2, 2011. Captain Sullenberger is known for having commanded the 2009 flight of US Airways Flight 1549, which he successfully ditched into the Hudson River after both engines were disabled due to a bird strike. Captain Sullenberger was informed about the VMS's rich aeronautical research history and the present and future research projects in the facility, and flew the Space Shuttle simulation that was used to train Shuttle pilots on the landing and rollout phase of flight. Captain Sullenberger also took a few minutes to talk about his experience landing US Airways Flight 1549. At the end of the tour, he graciously thanked everyone who participated in the tour and acknowledged the importance of NASA's Aviation contributions to the nation. Captain Sullenberger's visit to the VMS was featured on This Week @ NASA (at about 6:00). (POC: Dean Giovannetti)

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