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SMART-NAS Test Bed Demonstration
December 17, 2015

Screenshot of the SMART NAS Test Bed Simulation Builder Interface
SMART-NAS Test Bed Distributed Collaboration Tool for Plugging-in Modules, Configuring and Running Simulations. (Click image to enlarge)

On December 2, 2015, the NASA Shadow Mode Assessment using Realistic Technologies for the National Airspace System (SMART-NAS) Test Bed team demonstrated the Test Bed's initial data integration and visualization capabilities. The Test Bed will accelerate transformation of the NAS by enabling high-fidelity human-in-the-loop and automation-in-the-loop simulations and tests that are either impractical or not achievable today. The Test Bed will harmonize test and evaluation activities of the entire product development lifecycle from NASA research to operational use. It will use operational systems and high-fidelity models to evaluate realistic current and future traffic scenarios for all phases of air traffic operations. It will leverage cloud-based services to provide cost-effective scalability for large, multi-facility, multi-organization simulations.

In the past year, the SMART-NAS Test Bed team focused on developing a proof-of-concept implementation of the Test Bed distributed simulation environment which was used to perform technology evaluation of potential middleware and client software solutions. The high-throughput, publish-and-subscribe messaging system called Apache-Kafka (used by Twitter, Netflix, and LinkedIn) and the cluster-computing engine for big-data processing called Apache-Spark were evaluated. The WebGL-based Cesium framework and NASA’s Java-based WorldWind geospatial visualization capabilities were used to create a mobile application and a desktop application for the Test Bed.

Initial SMART-NAS Test Bed capabilities that were demonstrated included:
  1. Automation of simulation design and execution using a graphical, drag-and-drop editor of simulation components
  2. Communication between distributed simulation components at NASA Ames and NASA Langley using the NASA GovCloud infrastructure
  3. Integration of live, recorded, and simulated air traffic and airport vehicle position information from the FAA, Ames, Glenn, and Langley Research Centers, and the University of California at Santa Cruz
  4. Prediction of aircraft trajectories using each aircraft's flight plan and surveillance information
  5. Visualization of air traffic tracks and flight plans, weather information, and airspace boundaries on a high-resolution, three-dimensional geo-spatial viewer
  6. Execution of real-time analytics to evaluate operational metrics like delay and sector transit time, as well as health metrics like message rates and latencies
In 2016, the Test Bed team will extend and mature the proof-of-concept capabilities to include account/session management services, automated simulation scenario generation and validation using big-data analytics, on-demand creation of simulated aircraft from live traffic conditions, and distributed voice communications for remote simulation participants. (POC: John Robinson, Kee Palopo)

FAA Interest in DWR Technology
December 17, 2015

During the FAA/NASA Quarterly Meeting held at Ames Research Center on December 1-3, 2015, senior Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) managers including Steve Bradford and Rob Hunt expressed strong interest in the Dynamic Weather Routes (DWR) technology as a candidate for inclusion in the FAA's Collaborative Air Traffic Management Technologies (CATM-T) Work Package 5 scheduled for Final Investment Decision in 2019. The FAA indicated that the technology would be targeted for the Traffic Flow Management System (TFMS) and requested that additional information, including short-fall analysis, operating concepts, functional requirements, technical papers, and prototype software would be needed by 2016, in preparation for FAA milestones leading to the 2019 Final Investment Decision. The FAA also expressed interest in NASA's extensions of DWR, which are proposed components of NASA's Airspace Technology Demonstration-3 (ATD-3) sub-project, including Multi-Flight Common Route (MFCR), which finds common air traffic controller-friendly routes for multiple flights, and Dynamic Routes for Arrivals in Weather (DRAW), which extends DWR for merging arrivals and metering during weather events. The FAA expressed strong interest in connecting the Airborne Reroute (ABRR) mechanism with NASA's MFCR technology. The FAA-developed ABRR sends reroutes from the traffic manager to the controller electronically. (POC: Dave McNally, Kapil Sheth)

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