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Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) Machine Learning Services Featured at NASA Data Science Month
September 23, 2020

NASA Data Science Month is structured as a multi-day, virtual mini-conference hosted by the NASA Headquarters Information Technology and Communications Division (ITCD) and Johnson Space Center Information Resources Directorate (IRD). The primary goal is to share and inform the Agency’s data community of current and future activities in the field of data science. September 2020 topics included COVID-19, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). Dr. Jeremy Coupe presented at the September 17 meeting on “ATD-2 Real-time Machine Learning Services Powered by SWIM.” The modern day National Airspace System (NAS) is powered by System Wide Information Management (SWIM), a digital data-sharing infrastructure that provides a high fidelity view of the lifecycle of a flight. The real-time data feeds within SWIM can be leveraged to help drive efficiencies in the NAS. In his talk, Dr. Coupe showed examples of different ML services being developed by ATD-2 to model airport surface operations. The ML services will form the building blocks of a predictive engine that alerts flight operators to delay savings opportunities within the terminal airspace.

POC: Jeremy Coupe

ATD-2 Experience Shared on Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) Technical Symposium S.M.A.R.T Airport Panel
September 23, 2020

The Air Traffic Controllers Association (ATCA) Technical Symposium hosted a panel session entitled “Self-Monitoring and Reporting Technology (SMART): Intelligent Airports and the Technology That Enables Them,” on September 15, 2020. Shawn Engelland, project manager for the Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) project, represented NASA on this panel which also included representatives from industry, airport operators, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The panel developed the following working definition: “A SMART airport integrates data processing/machine learning, communication, and sensor/control technologies into its infrastructure to create a more consumer-friendly and digitally connected airport experience to improve airport operations, safety, efficiency, and predictability.” During the session, the panel shared their experiences developing, implementing, and operating SMART airport technologies. NASA shared experiences from the ATD-2 Field Demonstration at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) in North Carolina.

ATD-2’s goal is to improve the predictability and efficiency of airport operations through the development and demonstration of an Integrated Arrival/Departure/Surface (IADS) system. The ATD-2 IADS system being demonstrated at CLT is a precursor to the FAA’s implementation of the Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) system. A key TFDM capability being demonstrated by ATD-2 is surface departure metering which shifts physical departure queues and wait times on the taxiways and ramp areas into virtual departure queues back to the gate, where delays can be absorbed with the engines off and the doors open.

Information sharing and the creation of new “digital assets” (i.e., information elements) such as Earliest Off Block Time (EOBT) are used by flight operators with the ATD-2/TFDM scheduling system, to enable accurate departure demand predictions. Coupling these demand predictions with airport surface capacity predictions (based on runway utilization and arrival traffic prediction) enables the ATD-2/TFDM system to balance demand and capacity to improve efficiency and predictability. The resulting benefits include reductions in fuel use and emissions and more flexibility for flight operators and passengers.

TFDM requires an unprecedented level of collaboration between flight and airport operators; while the FAA is developing tools for air traffic control (ATC) users, industry operators must provide their own tools. NASA’s ATD-2 demonstration at CLT includes both pieces of the puzzle, and NASA’s knowledge sharing prepares both the FAA and Industry for the implementation of TFDM.

POC: Shawn Engelland

ATD-2 Stormy 2021 Briefing to the Surface CDM Team (SCT) & Flow Evaluation Team (FET)
September 23, 2020

Representatives from the NASA Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) team briefed plans for Trajectory Options Set (TOS) Stormy 2021 testing during a joint meeting of the SCT and FET teams on September 14, 2020. The briefing expanded upon the high-level overview of Stormy 2021 provided to the SCT and FET groups in July 2020. The September presentation provided more details and outlined operational plans as well as enhancements that the ATD-2 team will be making to the system to increase trajectory option set (TOS) opportunities in the coming months. In addition, the briefing described the platforms designed to accomplish training for field users, including tutorial videos, additional use case scenarios that could generate more TOS opportunities, and various methods to accurately calculate reroute benefit savings. The briefing was well received, and numerous questions were answered regarding the implementation plan.

POC:Greg Juro

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