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NASA Successfully Completes ecoDemonstrator Flight Test
April 19, 2018

The NASA/Boeing ecoDemonstrator (ecoD) flight test team successfully completed a joint flight test April 14-15, 2018. This was a major step towards executing a 2019 flight test with Boeing as part of a highly visible NASA-Boeing collaboration. The focus of the test was to establish data communication of aircraft state and other parameters between the ecoD aircraft and NASA’s Air Traffic Management Exploration (ATM-X) Test Bed. The flight test also provided the first-ever opportunity to integrate and evaluate the operation of the AutoResolver conflict detection and resolution algorithm, which appropriately alerted projected conflicts between the ecoD aircraft and virtual aircraft that were generated and controlled via the ATM-X Test Bed. The Division’s flight test team monitored the performance of the test from the Test Bed laboratory at NASA Ames Research Center. The designed flexibility of the ATM-X Test Bed platform enabled the team to make tactical, on-the-fly adjustments to its test protocol in order to adapt to several impromptu changes enacted by Boeing mid-flight, underscoring the robustness of the Test Bed as a platform for real-time experiments. (POC: David Thipphavong)

ATD-3 Alaska Airlines System Operations Control visit
April 19, 2018

Live NASCENT display available at ATC Coordinator’s desk at ASA

Dr. Miwa Hayashi, the Human Factors lead for the ground-side system of the Multi-Agent Air/Ground Integrated Coordination (MAAGIC) effort, visited the Alaska Airlines (ASA) System Operations Control (SOC) center at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport in Washington, on April 13, 2018. During the visit, Dr. Hayashi observed ASA dispatchers’ activities to understand how National Airspace System Constraint Evaluation and Notification Tool (NASCENT), the ground-side system of MAAGIC, would function in the SOC. The ASA SOC houses 11 dispatcher desks and one air traffic control (ATC) Coordinator Chief desk. The ATC Coordinator Chief monitors the FAA telecons and overall weather development to anticipate any potential problems and assist the dispatchers accordingly. Each ASA dispatcher monitors 30-45 flights during a 10-hour shift, with up to 20 flights at any given time. About 1.5 hours before a flight departs the gate, the dispatcher assesses weather, airport/airspace restrictions, and required fuel, including considerations for possible rerouting. The dispatcher sends a release document to the flight’s captain, which has to be signed by both the dispatcher and the captain for a Part 121 flight to operate. While the flight is en route, the dispatcher monitors for updates and informs the pilots via electronic messages in the Aircraft Communication and Reporting System (ACARS) and the pilot sends the dispatcher any updates (e.g., ATC reroute). On April 13, severe weather was present in the mid-west region, and several Ground Delay Programs were in effect, as well as Playbook routes. (POC: Miwa Hayashi)

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Last Updated: November 7, 2018

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