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NASA/FAA Team Finds that Dynamic Airspace Research is On-Track
A meeting of the NASA/FAA Research Transition Team (RTT) for Dynamic Airspace Configuration (DAC) was held on February 7-8. The meeting was hosted by the Air Traffic Control System Command Center, located in Warrenton, Virgina (Washington, DC area). There were over 20 participants representing NASA, FAA, and MITRE/CAASD. NASA researchers presented their work on an analysis of Cleveland Center airspace redesign and the development of an advisory tool that helps supervisors dynamically allocate available controller and airspace resources to match air traffic demand. The NASA team received valuable feedback from FAA personnel about operational and programmatic considerations. FAA participants provided briefings on current projects for improving operations in the National Airspace System. The general consensus is that NASA's DAC research is heading in the right direction. (POC: Karl Bilimoria and Michael Bloem)

(L to R) Dr. Edward Tunstel, Aisha Bowe, and Reginald Gillins at the NSBE Aerospace Conference Awards Ceremony
Dr. Edward Tunstel (left) and Reginald Gillins (right), NSBE Technical Program Co-Chairs present the Outstanding Technical Contribution Award to Aisha Bowe (center) of NASA Ames Research Center.

Bowe & Santiago Recognized by NSBE for Outstanding Technical Contribution
“Evaluation of a Fuel-Efficient Maneuver for Conflict Resolution” was recognized from among 40 other technical papers at the recent NSBE Aerospace Conference to receive the award for Outstanding Technical Contribution. The paper quantifies the potential operational benefits of using a combined speed-reduction/direct-to maneuver to resolve projected aircraft conflicts on a 5- to 20-minute time horizon. In a February 3 ceremony, authors Aisha Bowe and Confesor Santiago were cited for the exceptional quality, innovation and experimentation reflected in their work. (POC: Aisha Bowe)

This image shows an example configuration of an airport surface, showing the location of ramps, spots, taxiways, and runways.
The Spot and Runway Departure Advisor (SARDA) helps to improve the efficiency of airport surface operations involving the ramps, spots, taxiways, and runways.

NASA Ames hosted an NRA kickoff meeting
On February 3rd, NASA Ames hosted an NRA kickoff meeting on the topic of Airport Surface Management Requirements Resulting from Variation in Airport Characteristics. Dr. Steve Atkins from Mosaic ATM, principal investigator of the effort, presented the scope of the work and discussed work plans for the base year with NASA researchers. The background for the project is that NASA's Safe and Efficient Surface Operations (SESO) research focus area has developed and is studying the Spot and Runway Departure Advisor (SARDA), which plans spot crossing times and runway sequences to more efficiently manage departures at an airport. NASA's initial research focused on operations at DFW airport. One aspect of NASA's continuing SARDA research is to study its application at other airports. The high-level goal of this project is to provide information to NASA that will help NASA extend its airport surface traffic management (ASTM) research to other airports. To achieve this objective, Mosaic ATM will first determine the characteristics of airports that affect the ASTM functions that are needed and will be beneficial at an airport. After surveying these characteristics at the ten busiest airports, three airports with different characteristics (such as the number of hand-off spots, runway geometry, and the number of taxi queues feeding each runway departure end) will be modeled in detail in the Metroplex Simulation Environment (MSE). (POC: Ty Hoang)

MIT kicks off Air Quality NRA at NASA Ames
On January 27th, an NRA team led by Dr. Steven Barrett from MIT which includes Mosaic ATM and ATAC presented their research plan for the assessment of ozone (O3) and particulate matter (PM) impacts due to airport surface operations. Surface operations play a major part in the efficiency of the air transportation system, but also contribute to the fuel burn, emissions, air quality, and noise impacts of aircraft operations at airports. O3 and PM are of particular importance to air quality, more so as many major US airports lie in non-attainment areas. The approach will include the development and validation of real-time models that evaluate emissions impacts (and the associated air quality impacts) of aircraft surface operations. A goal is to include these models with one of NASA's Surface Decision Support tools and develop a plan for the integration of the proposed models with the FAA's Aviation Environmental Design Tool (AEDT). Specific topics included a description of NASA's surface research, a description of the roles of each team member, overview of air quality models, and methods to estimate ground fuel burn. (POC: William N. Chan)

View of the flight deck of the Boeing 747 simulator
Interior of the Boeing 747 simulator

Boeing 747 Simulation Study of Pilot Responses to Critical Events
In February 2012, researchers in the Ames Human Systems Integration Division completed a simulation study of airline pilot readiness to respond to critical events such as stalls, wind shear, engine, and instrumentation failures. This study, performed as part of NASA's Vehicle Systems Safety Technologies (VSST) effort, was conducted in the Boeing 747-400 simulator located in the Crew-Vehicle Systems Research Facility (CVSRF) at NASA Ames Research Center. The study included twenty certified commercial pilots from three major United States carriers. During the study, each pilot flew a 2.5 hour mission and experienced thirteen abnormal events. The goal was to study pilots' responses to these events when they were presented in natural and unexpected ways, outside of a typical airline training event in which maneuvers are practiced from a script that is known to pilots in advance. The results will be published in a scientific journal, and they will be used to recommend changes in the way these events are taught and practiced during airline training events. (POC: Steve Casner)

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Last Updated: November 7, 2018

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