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Division Highlights

NASA's North Texas Research Station hosts NASA Administrator Bolden
September 19, 2014

Administrator Bolden's visit to NTX was featured in the recent “This Week at NASA” at the 2:40 mark

On September 19, NASA's North Texas Research Station (NTX) in Fort Worth, hosted a visit from NASA's administrator, Charles Bolden, where he was provided with demonstrations and briefings of the Precision Departure Release Capability (PDRC) and Dynamic Weather Routes (DWR) technologies that NASA Ames Research Center has been developing in collaboration with the FAA's Fort Worth En Route Center and American Airlines. Mr. Bolden was accompanied by NASA Associate Administrator for Aeronautics, Dr. Jaiwon Shin, and Ames Deputy Center Director, Mr. Lewis Braxton III, as well as FAA Southwest Regional Administrator, Mr. Kelvin Solco. The administrator was given tours of the Fort Worth Center Traffic Management Unit and Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Airport Tower (where PDRC is operating), as well as the American Airlines Integrated Operations Center (IOC) (where DWR is currently undergoing operational evaluation). After the briefings and demonstrations, Mr. Bolden participated in a press conference that was hosted at American Airlines, moderated by DFW Airport's Executive Vice President for Operations, Mr. James Crites, and which included remarks by Mr. Solco, Mr. Sean Donohue (Chief Executive Officer of DFW Airport), and Mr. Robert Isom (Chief Operating Officer of American Airlines). All parties pledged to continue the strong partnerships that had already been exhibited by the successful technologies showcased during the administrator's visit. (POC: Shawn Engelland, Dave McNally)

In the picture, American Airlines Dispatcher Airman and ATC Coordinator Mike Sterenchuck (seated right) demonstrates DWR to (standing left to right) David McNally, DWR Lead Engineer; Kimball Stone, Vice President of the American Airlines Integrated Operations Center; Lewis Braxton III, NASA Ames Deputy Center Director; Jaiwon Shin, Associate Administrator for the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate; (seated left to right) Kelvin Solco, FAA Southwest Regional Administrator and Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator.

Participants of the meeting with NASA Administrator Bolden and staff from Ames Resesarch Center and the North Texas Research Station pose for a group photograph.

NASA and American Airlines meet to discuss SARDA field testing
September 19, 2014

On September 18, NASA managers and researchers met with the senior management team of American Airlines (AA) operations at their headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas to discuss the Spot and Runway Departure Advisor (SARDA) effort, and the plans to field test SARDA at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT) AA ramp tower. Meeting participants included Dr. John Cavolowsky, Program Director of Airspace Systems Program from NASA Headquarters, Dr. Thomas Edwards, Director of Aeronautics at NASA Ames Research Center, Mr. Tim Campbell, AA Senior Vice President of Air Operations, and Ms. Kerry Philipovich, AA Senior Vice President of Customer Experience. Dr. Yoon Jung, NASA's airport surface research lead, briefed the AA management team on the status of the SARDA project, including the ongoing human-in-the-loop simulations, requirements development, and the proposed schedule for field testing of the SARDA tool at the CLT ramp tower in 2016. Mr. Ilhan Ince, AA Managing Director of Operations Planning and Performance presented the AA perspectives on their participation thus far in the SARDA development and testing. The AA senior management team expressed strong endorsement for the SARDA project and recommended a more detailed assessment of the potential resource requirements, especially for IT resources from American Airlines, in order to install the SARDA tool at the CLT ramp tower for field testing. As a next step, NASA and American Airlines teams will meet in early November to continue this discussion. (POC: Yoon Jung)

FAA Mini Global-1 Demonstration
September 19, 2014

The Aviation Systems Division's Airspace Automation Technology Advisor, Mr. Tom Davis, attended the FAA's “Mini Global-1” Demonstration at the Daytona Beach, Florida NextGen testbed, September 16-18. The Mini Global Demonstration is an FAA international initiative to develop a concept of operations for electronically connecting disparate computer and messaging systems across the globe, through a defined, common interface that will be able to exchange System Wide Information Management (SWIM) data seamlessly. Currently, data is exchanged 'point-to-point' with separate interfaces for each country. The FAA has developed an Enterprise Messaging System (EMS) that serves as a central hub to share information utilizing standards for flight (FIXM), weather (WXXM) and aeronautical (AIXM) information. The Global data would automatically provide relevant information about individual flights, weather, and aviation resources (e.g., special use airspace) across international borders. International partners can either subscribe to the EMS system or create their own hub to interface with EMS, but in either case protocols are standardized. International partners for this demonstration included Canada, Australia, Asia-Pacific nations (Singapore, Japan, Korea, Thailand) and Portugal. The FAA will now initiate a Mini-Global-2 Demonstration project, to be completed in 2016, that will expand upon the current concept including messaging regarding traffic flow information utilizing the Traffic Flow Management (TMXM) standard. Some of the TMIXM messaging protocols and information were developed at NASA Ames Research Center and NASA was identified as a potential partner for developing “killer apps” for the overall concept. Mr. Davis also participated in an FAA demonstration of the Traffic Management Advisor for attendees from the Singapore Civil Aviation Authority. (POC: Tom Davis)

UAS Flight Test 3 Taking Shape
September 19, 2014

On September 9-10, at Glenn Research Center, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) project held a planning meeting for the NASA-led UAS flight test scheduled to begin in June 2015 (referred to as FT3). The objective of FT3 is to validate UAS Detect and Avoid models and simulation results with flight test data. Engineers from Ames, Armstrong, Glenn, and Langley Research Centers collaborated on the development of flight test plan elements, including the airspace, equipment, and test scenario requirements. The initial flight test plan is due to stakeholders in late October. (POC: Chester Gong)

Shakedown Simulation for Fully-Integrated ATD-1 Test (FIAT) #5 Completed
September 19, 2014

About 20 subjects participated in a series of shakedown runs of the Fully-Integrated ATD-1 Test (FIAT) #5 experiment, over three days during the week of September 8. The objectives of the shakedown were to validate the integration of the fourth Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) workstation in the Aviation Systems Division's air traffic control lab, examine procedures for a small set of off-nominal events, and examine some recently added Terminal Sequencing and Spacing (TSS) functionality in Time-Based Flow Management (TBFM) version 4.2. All objectives of the shakedown exercise were met, with the fourth STARS workstation performing flawlessly. Multiple procedures for some off-nominal flights were explored to provide options for future TSS-operator participants who will manage off-nominal events as required. Data was captured from TBFM 4.2 to help prepare for the next shakedown that is scheduled to begin on September 29. Prior to this next shakedown, Raytheon will deliver and demonstrate a new version of SCOUT (STARS CMS OpEval Upleveled Tools), the TSS-enhanced STARS prototype that will be used at the Operational Integration Assessment in May 2015. (POC: Kevin Witzberger)

Initial Detect and Avoid (DAA) Flight Tests
September 19, 2014

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) project is partnering with the FAA, Honeywell, and General Atomics to conduct a series of flight tests to collect data supporting the evaluation of a Detect and Avoid (DAA) system. During this test, the NASA Armstrong Ikhana Predator-B UAS aircraft will fly with a prototype Due Regard Radar on specific encounter paths with live manned intruder aircraft. The radar feeds positions of the intruder aircraft from the sensor and ADS-B data through a Honeywell-developed data fusion model which sends the fused position data to the ACAS-Xu (Aircraft Collision Avoidance System for NextGen-UAS variant) for evaluation. During a series of flight vignettes, the NASA-developed AutoResolver and Stratway+ Self Separation algorithms will be connected to the data stream sent down to the UAS Ground Control Station via NASA's UAS Live-Virtual-Constructive (LVC) network to support UAS pilot evaluation of traffic displays and advisories. (POC: James Murphy)

Method to Enhance Scheduled Arrival Robustness (MESAR) Pilot Training and Data Collection Completed
September 19, 2014

The Method to Enhance Scheduled Arrival Robustness (MESAR) team completed two weeks of pseudo-pilot training with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and data collection with two different groups of participants from August 11-29. MESAR is an augmentation to the Traffic Management Advisor-Terminal Metering (TMA-TM) and Controller-Managed Spacing (CMS) tools, and includes an algorithm that is designed to handle perturbed schedule-based terminal area arrival operations. MESAR uses augmented displays with slot markers, timelines, and speed advisories to provide a graphical display of aircraft STAs (Scheduled Times of Arrival) and ETAs (Estimated Times of Arrival) to provide support for controllers to sequence, space, and merge aircraft and help controllers meet the schedule. During the data collection, three types of disturbances were tested to perturb the arrival schedule: missed approaches, pop-up VFR (visual flight rules) aircraft requiring emergency priority landing, and late arrivals that could not be speeded up to meet their schedule. Three ways of managing the perturbed schedule were tested: 1) automatically adjusted by the MESAR algorithm, 2) manually adjusted by the Traffic Management Coordinator (TMC), or 3) no schedule adjustment. The data will be used to evaluate the efficacy of tactical schedule adjustment in enhancing the robustness and resilience of schedule-based terminal area arrival operations. as well as compare characteristics of schedule adjustments performed by the MESAR algorithm and by the TMC. (POC: Jaewoo Jung and Savvy Verma)

Air Traffic Control Association President/CEO and Airspace Systems Program Director reviews Air Traffic Management Research
September 19, 2014

On September 16, Peter Dumont, President and CEO of the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA), was hosted by Dr. John Cavolowsky, Director of NASA's Airspace Systems Program, for a review of air traffic management research at NASA Ames Research Center. Research topics included Unmanned Aircraft System Traffic Management (UTM), Air Traffic Management Technology Demonstration-1 (ATD-1), the Dynamic Weather Routes (DWR) tool, and a tour of Ames' Future Flight Central tower simulation facility used for airport surface management research. (POC: Katharine Lee)

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