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Division Highlights

Characterization of an Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Distributed Test Environment
November 18, 2013

The UAS in the NAS project completed an initial evaluation of the proposed Live, Virtual, Constructive (LVC) Simulation Environment. In June 2013, the Integrated Test and Evaluation (IT&E) team conducted a series of experiments to measure the time to transmit aircraft state data through the core components of the LVC simulation infrastructure. Due to the distributed nature of the LVC test environment, the latencies of messages passed between the LVC components observed in standalone simulations must be characterized and clearly understood to assess the effect of latency on an overall simulation. The test environment focused on measuring latencies between aircraft simulators and virtual air traffic control workstation components at NASA Ames, NASA Dryden, and NASA Glenn Research Centers. A final test measured the latency of sending data from a live aircraft flying at Glenn utilizing a 3G Cellular data connection into the simulation environment at Ames. The results indicated that data between virtual systems at the distributed facilities had latencies less than operationally required and would be acceptable for simulation. The data from the live flight test demonstrated latencies greater than required operationally and indicated the need to utilize an alternative method for data transmission and continued testing. The final experiment report was submitted to the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) as the FY13 Annual Program Goal (APG) for the UAS in the NAS Project on September 27, 2013. (POC - Jim Murphy)

NASA-DLR ATM Collaboration: Researcher Exchange Concludes
November 18, 2013

On October 30, 2013, Mr. Florian Linke, Team leader, Air Traffic Infrastructures and Processes at German Aerospace Center (DLR)'s Air Transportation Systems, Hamburg, Germany, completed his extended visit to NASA Ames Research Center as part of the NASA-DLR Air Traffic Management collaboration. During his visit, Mr. Linke worked with Aviation Systems Division researchers to develop a database of the flight tracks flown by intercontinental flights from US to Europe, by combining the profiles recorded by EUROCONTROL's Central Flow Management Unit (CFMU) and recorded flight tracks from the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA's) Enhanced Traffic Management System (ETMS). The combination of the two complementary databases leads to an accurate flight movement database containing the highest available flight path resolution in the National Airspace System (NAS) and European airspace (ECAC). This research supports the “route optimization under all conditions” collaboration topic and it will provide the basis for further collaborative research work between NASA and DLR on the simulation and optimization of United States and European air traffic and its environmental impact. Mr. Linke completed a report detailing his activities at NASA. (POC - Banavar Sridhar)

Meeting with Professor Henry McDonald, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
November 18, 2013

Dr. Banavar Sridhar, NASA Ames Research Center's Senior Scientist for Air Transportation Systems, met with Prof. Henry McDonald, Distinguished Professor, Chair of Excellence in Engineering, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Mr. Tim Walsh, President and CEO, SimCenter Enterprises, Inc., Chattanooga, TN on November 1, 2013. Prof. McDonald was the Ames Center Director from 1996-2002. At the visitors' request, Dr. Sridhar discussed the modeling, simulation and optimization issues in Aviation Operations. Prof. McDonald described his research efforts on predicting better winds in urban environments for emergency preparedness efforts. (POC - Banavar Sridhar)

Aircraft Loss-of-Control Prediction and Cueing Experiment at the Vertical Motion Simulator
November 18, 2013

Screenshot of Loss-of-Control (LOC) prediction and cueing technology.
Loss-of-control (LOC) prediction and cueing technology

Inadvertent loss-of-control (LOC) of an aircraft by the pilot is now the primary cause of aviation fatalities. To address this problem, NASA's Aviation Safety Program is developing technology that predicts the onset of LOC and guides the pilot on appropriate control action to prevent total LOC. A prototype prediction and cueing technology was developed by NASA Ames Research Center's Intelligent Systems Division and Systems Technology, Inc., and tested at the Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS). The LOC prediction and cueing technology combined sophisticated real-time algorithms for predicting LOC with aural, visual, and stick force cueing methods to guide the pilot on preventing a LOC situation from developing. A damaged aircraft model was used in the simulation to provide a repeatable and consistent LOC scenario. The simulation ran for two weeks in August 2013, using four test pilots and five commercial pilots who completed 351 data runs. Initial results show the predictive technology was effective in preventing LOC. The pilots reported that the visual predictive boundary box cue (see figure above) when combined with the pilot stick force cue was the most effective in preventing LOC. (POC - Scott Reardon)

University of Cincinnati and NASA Ames Research Center Sign Space Act Agreement
November 18, 2013

University of Cincinnati's president, Santa Ono, and alumnus, Tom Davis, pose for a photograph standing in front of Neil Armstrong's astronaut portrait.
UC President Santa Ono and UC alumnus, Tom Davis at the University's new on-campus exhibit titled, “Neil Armstrong: The Life and Flight of a Reluctant Hero.”

On November 6, 2013, NASA Ames and the University of Cincinnati (UC) officially signed a Space Act Agreement for collaborative research, at a ceremony honoring Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon. UC President Santa Ono signed the agreement as the school announced its plans for the Neil Armstrong Space Science Institute and unveiled a new exhibit celebrating Neil Armstrong's life, which includes memorabilia donated by his family. Armstrong, who died in 2012, was an aerospace engineering professor at the University from 1971-1979 after he retired from NASA. Aviation Systems Division Chief Tom Davis, a UC alumnus, and Division researcher Dr. Todd Lauderdale, represented NASA Ames at the ceremony. The Agreement between NASA and UC will enable collaborative research in areas pertinent to the Aviation Systems Division, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), software engineering, aerospace and aviation systems, data analytics, and simulation.

Please see the following links for more information:

WCPO Cincinnati:

University of Cincinnati News:

San Francisco Chronicle:

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