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ATD-2 Integrated Surface and Airspace Simulation V
March 15, 2017

Group photo of the ATD-2 human-in-the-loop simulation team and participants assembled in the courtyard outside of FutureFlight Central
ATD-2 HITL simulation team and participants

On March 7-9, 2017, the Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) Experiment Team successfully completed a Human-In-The-Loop (HITL) simulation of the ATD-2 system in the FutureFlight Central (FFC) and Airspace Operations Laboratory (AOL) facilities at NASA Ames Research Center. The primary objective of the HITL simulation was to enable Field Demo Partners to interact with the fully-integrated Phase 1 system in a realistic, closed-loop environment, preparing them for the Phase 1 Field Demo. The simulation environment included four distinct operational facilities: airport ramp traffic control tower, Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT), Terminal RADAR Approach Control (TRACON), and Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC or Center). AOL terminal and en route airspace simulation capabilities were integrated with the FFC airport surface simulation capabilities to enable a faithful emulation of the operational facilities, to evaluate the two major ATD-2 prototype system components: the Surface Trajectory-Based Operations (STBO) subsystem and the Time-Based Flow Management/ Integrated Departure Arrival Capability (TBFM/IDAC) subsystem. The simulation participants included all of the ATD-2 Field Demonstration operational facilities: Charlotte ATCT/ TRACON, American Airlines (AAL) Ramp Tower and Operations Research personnel, Washington Center, Atlanta Center, the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), and representatives from FAA NextGen, Surface, and Operational Requirements and Validation Offices. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected from the participants who evaluated the expected ATD-2 procedures for surface departure metering implemented in the ramp management tools, the Call For Release process between Charlotte ATCT and Washington Center, and the procedures associated with information sharing between the Charlotte ATCT and AAL Ramp Tower. Results from the HITL simulation will feed into the final set of capabilities for the Phase 1 Field Demonstration, to be reviewed at the Evaluation Requirements Freeze 1 meeting on March 29. (POC: Savita Verma and Eric Chevalley)

Human-in-the-Loop (HITL) Shakedown of Multi-Flight Common Routes (MFCR)
March 15, 2017

A HITL evaluation of the MFCR tool was conducted in the NASA Ames Air Traffic Control Laboratory, March 6-8, 2017. This evaluation was a “shakedown” rehearsal in preparation for a formal evaluation by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) traffic flow managers scheduled for March 28-30, 2017. MFCR is a NASA-developed concept and associated decision support tool designed to assist air traffic flow managers to efficiently update weather avoidance routes after the original re-routes have become “stale” due to subsequent evolution of the convective weather system. MFCR groups multiple flights to reduce the number of advisories that the traffic flow manager needs to evaluate, and also merges these flights on a common route segment to provide an orderly flow of re-routed traffic. Four recently-retired FAA traffic flow managers provided feedback on the MFCR tool and its concept of use. Specific topics of evaluation included the operational acceptability of MFCR re-route advisories, the usability of MFCR's graphical user interface, and overall viability of MFCR's concept of use. Data was collected across a total of 120 evaluation points. Feedback from the SMEs was overall very positive, indicating that MFCR identified many time-saving re-routing opportunities that would be difficult to identify manually during air traffic operations in bad weather conditions. (POC: Karl Bilimoria)

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