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HIGHLIGHTS ARCHIVE
Visual Vestibular Active Psychophysics 5 Simulation Completed
August 30, 2018

Loss of control in flight – when an aircraft is flown outside its normal flight envelope, often into a stall or spin – is the leading cause of fatal general aviation accidents in the United States and commercial aviation worldwide. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has mandated airline pilots be trained in full stall and upset recovery to reduce the incidence of these accidents. However, there are significant challenges to overcome: first, motion cues provided by current training simulators do not effectively represent the out-of-envelope aircraft response; second, it is unknown how best to configure training simulators to ensure that the skills learned successfully transfer to real flight. Thus, objective criteria are needed to better optimize motion cues, in order to provide good transfer of training of full stall recognition and recovery.

The Visual Vestibular Active Psychophysics 5 (VVAP5) simulation, a NASA Ames Research Center Human Systems Integration Division (Code TH) effort, was the fifth and final in a series of experiments with the long-term research goal of developing transfer-of-training methods and motion cueing guidelines for full stall recognition and recovery training. To support this goal, the previous VVAP entries focused on the manual control skills needed for stall recovery to determine what motion cues are most beneficial to this type of task and develop transfer of training methodologies. Initial entries studied manual control behavior of unstable aircraft dynamics by looking at a repetitive task with isolated axes using a simplified vehicle model. The lessons learned were later tested using multi-axes control tasks, an advanced aerodynamic transport math model, and most recently, a realistic stall recovery task with time-varying control requirements.

The VVAP5 experiment completed the series in August 2018 by investigating how adaptive motion cues affect pilot performance of manually controlling an aircraft during a realistic heading change and stall recovery task. The overall goal of VVAP5 was to optimize the available hexapod motion space to provide the highest fidelity motion possible of the most relevant cues for the particular aircraft state or the type of task being performed. A total of 18 pilots flew 558 data runs over a three-week period. The researchers will use the pilot evaluations, as well as pilot performance statistics, to publish improved motion cueing guidelines for effective pilot training for stall recognition and recovery training. (POC: Steve Beard)



NASA University Leadership Initiative (ULI) Review
August 30, 2018

Dr. Banavar Sridhar attended the annual review of the NASA University Leadership Initiative (ULI)-funded projects on “Information fusion for real-time national air transportation system prognostics under uncertainty” at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee on August 21, 2018. The ULI is a collaboration between Arizona State University, Vanderbilt University, Optimal Synthesis Inc., and Southwest Research Institute. A novel feature of the ULI project is feedback about the progress of the project to NASA from an External Advisory Board (EAB) selected by the Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigators. Dr. Sridhar led the EAB member discussion and provided feedback on the progress to NASA program and project leads, Dr. John Cavolowsky, Dr. Koushik Datta and Dr. Kai Goebel. (POC: Banavar Sridhar)



ATD-2 Briefs Southwest Data Science Community
August 30, 2018

Five people sit at the front of the room. Behind them is a large sign on the wall that says Southwest. There is another person standing at a podium. A briefing is being projected on the screen behind him. Several other people are sitting in the audience seating.

On August 21, 2018, six members of the Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) team briefed to the Southwest Airlines data science community at Southwest Airlines Headquarters in Dallas, Texas. NASA’s briefing described how ATD-2 researchers use data and analysis products, machine learning techniques used in taxi time estimation, surface metering foundational concepts consistent with Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM), benchmarking performance of the operational system at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and a benefits case for using Trajectory Options Sets (TOSs) in the North Texas environment. The briefing was well-received and the community posed a number of questions to the ATD-2 panel. The ATD-2 team also met with leaders of the several business units within Southwest Airlines to discuss potential applicability of System Wide Information Management (SWIM) related data within the Southwest Airlines operational environment. (POC: Al Capps)



Exploring Collaboration with German Aerospace Center (DLR)
August 30, 2018

Group photo of ATM-X and DLR staff.

NASA’s Air Traffic Management-Exploration (ATM-X) project team members met with researchers at the German Aerospace Center (Deutsche Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, DLR) on August 21-23, 2018, at DLR’s facility in Braunschweig, Germany, to further develop the technical plans for a collaboration agreement. The NASA team toured DLR’s research facilities, including control tower and generic flight simulators. The joint DLR-NASA team was able to refine air traffic management research topics in both traditional and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) operations. The team is in the process of finalizing the technical work plans to be completed over the next several months. (POC: David Thipphavong)



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