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Aviation Systems

Division Highlights

NASA's North Texas Research Station hosts NASA Administrator Bolden
September 19, 2014

Administrator Bolden's visit to NTX was featured in the recent “This Week at NASA” at the 4:20 mark

On September 19, NASA's North Texas Research Station (NTX) in Fort Worth, hosted a visit from NASA's administrator, Charles Bolden, where he was provided with demonstrations and briefings of the Precision Departure Release Capability (PDRC) and Dynamic Weather Routes (DWR) technologies that NASA Ames Research Center has been developing in collaboration with the FAA's Fort Worth En Route Center and American Airlines.
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NASA and American Airlines meet to discuss SARDA field testing
September 19, 2014

On September 18, NASA managers and researchers met with the senior management team of American Airlines (AA) operations at their headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas to discuss the Spot and Runway Departure Advisor (SARDA) effort, and the plans to field test SARDA at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT) AA ramp tower.
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FAA Mini Global-1 Demonstration
September 19, 2014

The Aviation Systems Division's Airspace Automation Technology Advisor, Mr. Tom Davis, attended the FAA's “Mini Global-1” Demonstration at the Daytona Beach, Florida NextGen testbed, September 16-18.
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UAS Flight Test 3 Taking Shape
September 19, 2014

On September 9-10, at Glenn Research Center, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) project held a planning meeting for the NASA-led UAS flight test scheduled to begin in June 2015 (referred to as FT3).
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Shakedown Simulation for Fully-Integrated ATD-1 Test (FIAT) #5 Completed
September 19, 2014

About 20 subjects participated in a series of shakedown runs of the Fully-Integrated ATD-1 Test (FIAT) #5 experiment, over three days during the week of September 8.
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Initial Detect and Avoid (DAA) Flight Tests
September 19, 2014

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) project is partnering with the FAA, Honeywell, and General Atomics to conduct a series of flight tests to collect data supporting the evaluation of a Detect and Avoid (DAA) system.
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Method to Enhance Scheduled Arrival Robustness (MESAR) Pilot Training and Data Collection Completed
September 19, 2014

The Method to Enhance Scheduled Arrival Robustness (MESAR) team completed two weeks of pseudo-pilot training with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and data collection with two different groups of participants from August 11-29.
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Air Traffic Control Association President/CEO and Airspace Systems Program Director reviews Air Traffic Management Research
September 19, 2014

On September 16, Peter Dumont, President and CEO of the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA), was hosted by Dr. John Cavolowsky, Director of NASA's Airspace Systems Program, for a review of air traffic management research at NASA Ames Research Center.
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Visit to American Airlines Operations Center
September 4, 2014

Dr. Banavar Sridhar and Dr. Kapil Sheth visited the American Airlines (AA) Operations Center in Fort Worth, Texas on August 29.
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Operational Integration Assessment (OIA) Progress Continues
September 4, 2014

Successful initial integration of the Terminal Sequencing and Spacing (TSS)-enhanced Standard Terminal Automation Replacement System (STARS) prototype into the FAA's William J. Hughes Technical Center (WJHTC) lab was achieved in August.
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American Airlines and FAA Participate in SARDA Simulation Data Collection
September 4, 2014

The Spot and Runway Departure Advisor (SARDA) airport surface research team completed a week of data collection August 25-29 in NASA Ames Research Center's FutureFlight Central (FFC) facility.
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NASA Ranked Best Place to Work in Government for Second Year in a Row
December 18, 2013

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden issued a statement regarding NASA's selection by the Partnership for Public Service as the Best Place to Work in Government.
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NASA Aeronautics: A New Strategic Vision
August 14, 2013

NASA Introduces New Blueprint for Transforming Global Aviation. Read the full story on

DWR Featured in Budget Rollout Video for FY2014
April 10, 2013

The Dynamic Weather Routes (DWR) tool is featured in the President's Budget Proposal for NASA video at the 5:00 mark. Check it out!

NASA's Ready, Let's Go”
In this edition of “Faces of NASA,” Todd Farley talks about his experience working to improve air traffic management.

Research Highlights Overview

ATM Technology Demonstration-1 (ATD-1) will showcase an integrated set of NextGen technologies that provide an efficient arrival solution for managing aircraft beginning from just prior to top-of-descent and continuing down to the runway.
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NASA is developing a ground-based automation system and tool called Dynamic Weather Routes (DWR). DWR is a search engine that continuously and automatically analyzes in-flight aircraft in en route airspace to find time- and fuel-saving corrections to weather avoidance routes. Route corrections are simple reroutes like those typically used in today's operations.
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The Efficient Descent Advisor (EDA) is a tool for air traffic controllers that synchronizes the descents of all arrival aircraft so that each can maintain a continuous descent approach that minimizes noise and emissions while avoiding other traffic and maximizing runway throughput.
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The Future ATM Concepts Evaluation Tool (FACET) equips ATM researchers and service providers with a way to explore, develop and evaluate advanced air transportation concepts before they are field-tested and eventually deployed.
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NASA is developing the Precision Departure Release Capability (PDRC), which automates portions of the Tactical Departure Scheduling process.
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The Spot and Runway Departure Advisor (SARDA) is a tool that will help to shorten the amount of time an aircraft spends taxiing before takeoff to alleviate some of the congestion on the airport surface. Reduced taxi times will help to eliminate unnecessary fuel burn, resulting in fewer emissions and less impact on the environment.
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The Terminal Area Precision Scheduling System (TAPSS) research at NASA Ames Research Center tests the integration of many of NASA's technologies that aim to improve operations in the airspace immediately surrounding the airport, known as the terminal area.
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Terminal TSAFE
The Terminal Tactical Separation Assured Flight Environment (TSAFE) is a tool designed to alert air traffic controllers of impending conflicts in the terminal area in order to improve the safety of the nation's air transportation system.
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NextGen is here.
NASA's ATM Research
NASA is conducting air traffic managment (ATM) research and development to help achieve the Next Generation Air Transportation System.
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NextGen Technologies
Here are a few of the NextGen tools in development by the Aviation Systems Division:
+ ATD-1
+ Terminal TSAFE

Photo of a NASA researcher sitting at a pilot simulation station.
FY2013 Highlights
Our technical and other highlights for fiscal year 2013.
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NARI Summer Virtual Seminar Series
Aviation Systems Division staff presented for the 2013 Summer Virtual Seminar Series hosted by NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI) in collaboration with the NASA Ames Aeronautics Academy. The technical seminar series showcased cutting-edge aeronautics research being done by NASA researchers. The recorded sessions are available for viewing.
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Airfield Safety Studies
FutureFlight Central conducted a series of simulations in August 2009 to address safety issues concerning the existing and future operation of the north airfield at LAX.
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24 Hours of Traffic in the NAS
This animation shows all aircraft flying over the United States during a 24-hour period on a typical day and shows the impact of severe weather on traffic in the New York area.
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Last Updated: September 29, 2014

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