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ATD-2 Surface Human-in-the-Loop Shakedown Simulation
May 4, 2016

The Airspace Technology Demonstration (ATD)-2 subproject completed a human-in-the-loop (HITL) shakedown simulation the week of April 25, 2016 in NASA Ames Research Center's FutureFlight Central (FFC). The simulation represented the first test of several of the ATD-2 tools planned for deployment at the American Airlines Ramp Tower at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (Charlotte, NC). Airport ramp operations were simulated with American Airlines and Flight Research Associates participants acting as ramp controllers and ramp managers. The HITL simulation examined the transition between airport configuration changes, operations when ramp advisories are turned off, new features in the Ramp Traffic Console and the newly-developed Ramp Manager Traffic Console displays. The simulation was also part of an Ames tour for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Deputy Administrator Mike Whitaker, on April 28. (POC: Savvy Verma)

UAS in the NAS Demonstration at AUVSI
May 4, 2016

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) project teams participated at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) 2016 Xponential conference in New Orleans, LA, May 3-5, 2016. The UAS-NAS project's Integrated Testing and Evaluation (IT&E), Human-Systems Integration (HSI), and Separation Assurance/Sense and Avoid Interoperability (SSI) subproject team leads, from both NASA Ames and NASA Armstrong Research Centers, will provide demonstrations of a portable, standalone version of the scalable Live, Virtual, Constructive (LVC) distributed test environment developed and integrated at Ames. The LVC test environment can interact with the project's Vigilant Spirit Control Station (VSCS), developed in partnership with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Conference visitors will be able to “fly” encounters, using the Detect and Avoid (DAA) and Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) II alerting and guidance displays to avoid simulated aircraft, demonstrating NASA's efforts to validate the interoperability requirements for proposed UAS. (POC: Jim Murphy)

Collaborative Decision-Making (CDM) Meeting
May 4, 2016

Kapil Sheth, Shawn Engelland and Connie Brasil attended the FAA's Collaborative Decision-Making (CDM) Spring meeting on April 20, 2016, held at the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport in Texas. NASA's research and development in airspace operations was clearly represented at this meeting. Several speakers referred to NASA's air traffic management (ATM) work covering the Airspace Technology Demonstration (ATD)-2 subproject, NASA's role in testing at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, human-in-the-loop simulations for the Integrated Demand Management (IDM) effort within the Shadow Mode Assessment using Realistic Technologies for the National Airspace System (SMART-NAS) Project, and weather routing in ATD-3. Speakers included Mr. Jim Crites, executive vice president of DFW airport, who provided opening remarks, and CDM sub-team leads, including Mr. Rob Goldman, Surface CDM Team (SCT) industry lead; Mr. Ernie Stellings, Flow Evaluation Team (FET) industry lead; and Mr. Vern Payne of the Traffic Flow Management deployment team. Mr. Lorne Cass, manager of the American Airlines' Integrated Operations Center also elaborated on the successful partnership between NASA and American Airlines. The subteams indicated continued interest in NASA collaboration and involvement. (POC: Kapil Sheth & Shawn Engelland)

Mueller Successfully Defends Ph.D. Thesis
May 4, 2016

Eric Mueller, Aerospace Engineer in the Flight Trajectory Dynamics and Controls Branch (Code AFT) within the Aviation Systems Division (Code AF), successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis before an audience of 50+ friends, family, students, NASA colleagues and his thesis committee members at Stanford University's Durand Hall on April 29, 2016. His dissertation, entitled Multi-Rotor Aircraft Collision Avoidance using Partially Observable Markov Decision Processes, breaks new ground in collision-avoidance algorithms by extending the Airborne Collision Avoidance System X (ACAS X) collision avoidance algorithm to enable the use of speed changes (including hovering) to avoid close encounters with neighboring aircraft. Eric's algorithm optimizes the avoidance maneuver in multiple dimensions to preserve safe separation while minimizing deviation from the planned route. The work has clear relevance to NASA's efforts to integrate small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into the national airspace system (e.g., the UAS Traffic Management (UTM) concept). Eric's thesis committee was comprised of Professors Mykel Kochenderfer (thesis advisor), Heinz Erzberger, Juan Alonso and Stephen Rock. (POC: Eric Mueller)

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