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Division Highlights

Initial EDA Capability Goes Live at Albuquerque Center
October 3, 2014

Technology based on NASA's Efficient Descent Advisor (EDA) was declared operational at Albuquerque Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) on September 22, 2014. The automation, referred to as Ground Based Interval Management for Spacing (GIM-S) by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), provides controllers with speed advisories for accurately delivering aircraft to arrival metering fixes. The targeted metering times are computed by the FAA's Time Based Flow Management (TBFM) scheduler, which is based on previous NASA research and development. Using speed advisories coupled with extended metering capabilities, controllers can condition arrival flows to balance demand and capacity and facilitate optimal profile descents up to 600 miles from the destination airport. Initial reports from the field indicate that controllers are very receptive to the speed-advisory automation and have seen smoother westbound traffic flows into Phoenix as a result of its use. Efforts are already underway within the FAA to examine the potential for expanding the GIM-S deployment to additional en route centers, including Oakland, Los Angeles, and Denver. GIM-S represents the first phase in the deployment of EDA, which was developed through a joint government/industry research transition activity that concluded in 2012 with technology transfer to the FAA. Additional EDA capabilities, which include path stretching for metering conformance along with automated conflict detection and avoidance, are expected to be added in future deployment packages under the FAA's TBFM program. (POC: Rich Coppenbarger)

Visual-Vestibular Active Psychophysics Experiment at the Vertical Motion Simulator
October 3, 2014

This image shows the simplified primary flight display for the Vertical Motion Simulator.
Simplified Primary Flight Display

Pilot loss of control (LOC) is the leading cause of jet casualties worldwide, and Congress has mandated that aircrews be trained in stall and upset recovery, which airlines attempt to do in motion-based simulators. However, simulator motion cueing systems must be configured to provide the best stall and recovery training. The Visual-Vestibular Active Psychophysics (VVAP) experiment, sponsored by NASA's Vehicle Systems Safety Technologies (VSST) Project, is the first in a series of experiments aimed at developing cueing requirements for full stall recognition and recovery training. This experiment was performed at the NASA Ames Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) September 22-October 23, 2014. The purpose of the first experiment is to develop a model of the pilots' combined motion and visual perception dynamics in the roll/lateral axes. This model can then be used to configure simulator motion cueing systems for stall and recovery training. The VVAP experiment consists of a simple roll-tracking task using an aircraft math model near stall. The pilot is asked to try and keep the aircraft level while a sum-of-sines disturbance is introduced in the roll axis. The pilot will track the disturbance in a simple primary flight display as seen in the figure. Each of the 18 general aviation pilots participating in the experiment will be asked to first train for the task with limited or no motion and then perform the task with full motion in the roll and lateral axes. Measurements of simulator visual and motion stimuli and pilot control inputs will be used to estimate the parameters of the pilot model. (POC: Steve Beard)

FIAT-5 Shakedown Completed
October 3, 2014

The Fully-Integrated ATD-1 Test (FIAT) simulation #5 shakedown was conducted the week of September 29-October 3, 2014 and met all simulation objectives. The FIAT-5 research team hosted five visitors from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), including three William J. Hughes Technical Center (WJHTC) employees who are working on the Operational Integration Assessment (OIA) scheduled for May 2015. Four days of human-in-the-loop (HITL) simulations were performed with about 25 air traffic controller and pseudo-pilot subjects. The objectives of this shakedown included: validating the newest Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) software build containing new display capabilities; testing a nearly completed Terminal Sequencing and Spacing (TSS)-enhanced Time-Based Flow Management (TBFM) version 4.2; examining Ground-based Interval Management for Spacing (GIM-S) adaptation and its effect on air traffic control procedures; and examining the performance of “TBFM in-a-box” that consolidates all TBFM processes on a single computer. A NASA-configured TBFM in-a-box at the WJHTC is being used for preliminary integration activities, and is planned to be used for the OIA. In this week’s simulations, the new STARS capabilities performed flawlessly and were popular with the controllers, and the performance of the TSS-enhanced TBFM 4.2 was stable. One of the WJHTC visitors participated in the FAA's GIM-S Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) in May-June 2014 communicated techniques and training to the controller participants. The performance of TBFM in-a-box was acceptable, demonstrating that using a single machine for TBFM at the OIA is viable. The FIAT-5 simulation team is currently reviewing actions to prepare for the data collection simulation that starts on October 27, 2014. Additionally, the team will transfer the STARS and TBFM 4.2 software to the WJHTC so that it is ready to be used for a planned integration event on October 15-16, 2014.(POC: Kevin Witzberger)

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