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HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE
01.31.12
NASA and the FAA Celebrate the Completion of the 3D-Path Arrival Management (3D-PAM) Joint Research Transition Activity

Photo of a cake
Cake to celebrate the EDA/3D-PAM Technology Transfer

NASA formally handed off the 3D-PAM technology to the FAA at a ceremony in Washington, DC on January 31. NASA and FAA officials attended the ceremony at the FAA Headquarters to officially present final results and ceremoniously transfer the software and documentation for the technology. NASA's Associate Administrator for Aeronautics, Dr. Jaiwon Shin, spoke on behalf of NASA, commenting on the strong partnership between NASA and the FAA. The ceremony was attended by the FAA's Victoria Cox, Assistant Administrator for NextGen, David Grizzle, the FAA's Chief Operating Officer, and Dr. Karlin Toner, Director of the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO). NASA Ames Research Center's Richard Coppenbarger, the 3D-PAM lead engineer, made a formal technology transfer presentation for those in attendance.

3D-PAM provides efficient arrival solutions in congested airspace by coupling NASA's ground-based automation for conflict-free, time-based metering. NASA's ground-based automation, the Efficient Descent Advisor (EDA), supports 3D-PAM by synchronizing the descents of all arrival aircraft for maximum arrival throughput and efficiency at all times of the day, even under heavy traffic conditions.

Photo of air traffic controllers sitting at ATC simulation stations during an EDA study.
EDA Simulation

Today's presentation culminated several years of joint research, including seven human-in-the-loop simulations and two field tests. Last fiscal year, 3D-PAM/EDA researchers completed the final four high-fidelity human-in-the-loop simulations involving active duty controllers from the Denver En route Center, representing the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). Simulation data was used to iteratively refine the concept, algorithms and user-interface. Results show that EDA automation reduces average arrival time error, controller workload, and fuel consumption.

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