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Division Highlights

Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) Analysis Framework workshop
September 6, 2012

The Strategy, Architecture, and Analysis organization from NASA's Aeronautics Mission Research Directorate (ARMD) hosted a 2-day workshop at Georgia Institute of Technology's Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory (ASDL) on August 21-22, 2012. The purpose of the workshop was to connect ARMD work to five national goals (Mobility, Energy and Environment, U.S. Leadership, Aviation Safety, and National Security and Defense) and use the data from the workshop in guiding future ARMD investments. The work-to-goals data and their mapping were captured in a database maintained by ASDL and Logistics Management Institute (LMI). At the lowest level, work is represented as groups of technical challenges from all ARMD projects. These technical challenges map to Integrated System Concept Requirements, which in turn map to Integrated System Concepts. A set of criteria is used to evaluate each concept in its contribution to the national goals. Approximately 30 participants (half from NASA) attended the workshop, which included representatives from NASA headquarters, the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO), NASA Ames and Langley Research Centers, Georgia Tech, and LMI. (POC: Kee Palopo)

Simulation Demonstration of Unmanned Aerial Systems Operations at Fort Hood
September 6, 2012

The Ames SimLabs Unmanned Aerial Systems in the National Airspace (UAS-NAS) simulation development team demonstrated an out-the-window Tower simulation of the Fort Hood/Robert Gray Army Airfield (GRK) airport to representatives from the US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) Department of Defense UAS Airspace Integration Joint Test and Evaluation Working Group. Using the Simlabs FutureFlight Central Facility's visual and systems simulation capabilities, a simulated UAS aircraft performed take-off and landing at GRK along with civilian background traffic both in the air and on the ground. Using a High Level Architecture (HLA) distributed simulation protocol, the team developed and integrated a high fidelity 3D visual database model of GRK, the Airspace Traffic Generator (ATG) for controlling the aircraft on the ground, the Multi Aircraft Control System (MACS) to simulate the airspace and air traffic, and the Multi UAV Simulation (MUSIM) to simulate the UAS ground control station. SimLabs is collaborating with NORTHCOM and the NASA UAS in the NAS Project on further UAS-Airfield Integration simulations. (POC: Paul Fast and Neil Otto)

Simulator Fidelity Rating Scale Testing at the Vertical Motion Simulator
September 6, 2012

Photo shows Hanger 1 and the Vertical Motion Simulator in the background and a UH-60 Blackhawk in the foreground
UH-60 Blackhawk taxiing to the hangar after SFR testing

The Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) played an integral part of a program to test a new flight Simulator Fidelity Rating (SFR) scale developed by the University of Liverpool, United Kingdom. The test was performed in collaboration with the Army Aeroflightdynamics Directorate (AFDD). The SFR scale was developed to quantify the transfer of training from a training simulator to an aircraft, based on pilot comparative task performance and strategy adaptation. The test objective was to evaluate the SFR scale testing procedures for use on an engineering simulator. Two experienced Army pilots performed slalom and vertical bob-up maneuvers in an Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter at Moffett Field, CA. The pilots then immediately flew the same maneuvers on a simulated UH-60 in the VMS and used the SFR scale to compare their performance between simulation and flight. The initial findings from the test show that the SFR scale could be useful as an engineering fidelity rating scale with some changes to the testing procedures. (POC: Steven Beard and Jeff Lusardi)

Experiment on Supervisory Control of a Lunar Lander at the Vertical Motion Simulator
September 6, 2012

Left image shows the outside of the Apollo LEM and an astronaut on the moon's surface. Right image shows LEM with respect to landing site two overlaid on topographical map with fuel contour references lines.
Left, Apollo Lunar Exploration Module (LEM); Right, Head Down Display showing LEM with respect to landing site two overlaid on topographical map with yellow fuel contour reference lines

The first phase of the Supervisory Control of a Lunar Lander (SCoLL) experiment on the Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) used a simulation of an Apollo-like Lunar Exploration Module (LEM) to measure the effect of various levels of automation on pilot performance for a Lunar landing task. The research goal was to evaluate pilots' supervisory control performance of landing on the Lunar surface as they adapt to spacecraft failures, secondary tasks, and different spacecraft control modes. The simulation ran for two weeks in June 2012 and eight participants performed 642 simulated Lunar landings. Initial results showed that the increased level of automation can significantly reduce pilot workload resulting in faster pilot response times. The study was conducted by the Exploration Technology Directorate at NASA Ames in collaboration with Draper Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (POC: Steven Beard and Jessica Marquez)

Dynamic Airspace Configuration (DAC) team visits Cleveland Center
September 6, 2012

Six members of the NASA DAC team visited Cleveland Center (ZOB), August 30-31, 2012 to address feedback on the Operational Airspace Sectorization Integrated System (OASIS) and to discuss the ZOB airspace redesign project. Detailed briefings on the OASIS algorithm and its graphical user interface (GUI) were presented, covering key properties of OASIS-generated sector configurations compared with historical sector configurations as well as the design/usage of the GUI. The briefings were very well received, and ZOB staff provided valuable feedback that will help the OASIS team refine both the algorithm and GUI. The NASA team also spent several hours on the ZOB operational floor, observing sector combine/decombine operations during high-activity times bracketing the three shift changes over a 24-hour period. The information gained from these observations is helping the team prepare for a human-in-the-loop evaluation of OASIS functionality at Ames Research Center this fall. The DAC team also met with the ZOB airspace redesign project staff, who are in the process of significantly modifying sector boundary definitions to conform with the new navaid-independent Q-routes replacing many of ZOB's conventional jet routes. The DAC team will contribute through a technical analysis of the resulting sector loading patterns and will help the ZOB airspace redesign team formulate, refine, and validate their new sector designs. These activities will contribute to NASA's development of an “airspace refresh” methodology that can be applied to other Centers in the National Airspace System. (POC: Karl Bilimoria)

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