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ATD-2 Phase 3 Field User Meeting
October 10, 2019

ATD-2 presentation to training participants

On October 2, 2019, the NASA Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) team met with the six field user groups that are involved in the ATD-2 Phase 3 evaluation: Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) Tower, Dallas Love Tower, DFW TRACON, Fort Worth Center, American Airlines, and Southwest Airlines. The primary objectives of the meeting were to determine the field facilities’ continued interest in utilizing the ATD-2 Trajectory Options Set (TOS) feature during the upcoming months, and discuss potential enhancements to the system as part of the fiscal year 2020 evaluation. The field users unanimously affirmed that they would like to continue utilizing the TOS features on a target of opportunity basis, and they agreed that Fort Worth Center would be the focal point for TOS activation and coordination. The NASA team will continue to provide support during this time frame including additional training and onsite support as needed. Enhancements for fiscal year 2020 will be evaluated and prioritized by the NASA ATD-2 team.

NASA-Boeing ecoDemonstrator Contract Signed
October 10, 2019

A Basic and Applied Aerospace Technology (BAART) contract between NASA and Boeing was signed on September 30, 2019 for the Boeing ecoDemonstrator (ecoD) program, which is a flight test research program that uses modified aircraft to develop and test aviation technologies intended to reduce the ecological footprint, improve fuel economy, and reduce the noise of transport aircraft. NASA will be participating in the 2020 ecoDemonstrator test flights, scheduled to take place March–July 2020, and will be collaborating with Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on testing the Tailored Arrival Management (TAM) capability, which relies on NASA’s Autoresolver technology. The research effort is focused on demonstrating and improving autonomous operations and trajectory-based operational efficiency.

Dr. Husni Idris elected to Associate Fellow of AIAA
October 3, 2019

Dr. Husni Idris has been elected to the grade of Associate Fellow in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). The AIAA Associate Fellows are “… individuals of distinction who have made notable and valuable contributions to the arts, sciences, or technology of aeronautics or astronautics.” The AIAA selects and approves only one such honor for every 150 voting members. Dr. Idris has been distinguished by his efforts towards the successful advancement of air traffic management systems, and he will be formally inducted at the Associate Fellows Recognition Ceremony at the AIAA SciTech Forum on Monday, January 6, 2020 in Orlando, Florida.

NASA-Uber End-to-End X2 Test Simulation
October 3, 2019

Screenshot showing the display for the End-to-End X2 test simulation of NASA and Uber operations in a common airspace.
End-to-end X2 test simulation of NASA and Uber operations in a common airspace.

On September 17, 2019, NASA completed the first end-to-end test of the first NASA Urban Air Mobility (UAM) air traffic management system with an external partner (Uber) ahead of a series of engineering evaluations scheduled for the end of September 2019, referred to as “X2.” The NASA Air Traffic Management Exploration (ATM-X) UAM team coordinated and collaborated with the Uber team to run a complete 40-minute simulation in which hundreds of flights were simulated, with NASA submitting operations for one set of flights and Uber doing the same for a different set of flights, all operating in a common, simulated airspace. During the simulation, Uber remotely connected from their lab to the X2 airspace management system developed by the NASA UAM team. During the X2 build up, NASA and Uber identified several scalability issues and developed and tested mitigating solutions. NASA will further adapt and extend the X2 system for use in the NASA UAM Grand Challenge (GC). The collaboration with Uber reduces risk towards GC flight test activities and expedites the future integration of GC partners into this system.

NASA ATD-2 Completes Phase 3 Initial Concept Evaluation
October 3, 2019

The first flight to receive a reroute and associated delay savings via the ATD-2 system is depicted.
The first flight to receive a reroute and associated delay savings via the ATD-2 system is depicted.

The NASA Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) team and its North Texas area field demonstration partners have completed the Phase 3 Initial Concept Evaluation which targeted the 2019 stormy season. The Phase 3 live testing began on June 10, 2019, with additional capabilities being introduced in July and August. Six field facilities are involved as demonstration partners: American Airlines Integrated Operations Center, Southwest Airlines Network Operations Center, Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Tower, DFW Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON), Dallas Love Tower and Fort Worth Center. Approximately ninety individuals from the six field facilities received training from NASA personnel in preparation for the testing. Additionally, NASA personnel provided support during numerous test periods in order to accelerate operational personnel familiarization with the ATD-2 system.

Between July 22 and August 26, the team logged 54 hours during 11 days of operational testing in which both airlines successfully submitted multiple flights for reroutes to air traffic control (ATC). The testing resulted in delay savings and positive impacts for the National Airspace System (NAS). Following this initial testing period, the field facilities have continued Phase 3 testing on a target of opportunity basis. The key findings and lessons learned from Phase 3 ATD-2 are being utilized to refine system requirements in preparation for the fiscal year 2020 Phase 3 Operational Evaluation. Several of the refinements are associated with expanding the integration capabilities of the system to incorporate other traffic management initiatives that are in place in the NAS. These improvements will assist the field users in more expeditiously identifying aircraft that are eligible for delay savings.

A follow-up review and planning meeting has been scheduled to discuss enhancements and prepare for the 2020 evaluation. Additionally, NASA personnel are conducting follow up training with the participating field facilities on an as needed basis. Consistent positive feedback has been received from all field facility participants during the evaluation period.

ATD-2 Exhibit at NATCA Communicating for Safety (CFS) conference in Las Vegas, NV
September 27, 2019

ATD-2 team members in the ATD-2 booth.
Pictured left-to-right: Bernie Davis (American Airlines), Shawn Gorman (NASA/Mosaic ATM), John Short (NATCA), Shawn Engelland (NASA)

NASA collaborated with American Airlines to exhibit Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) technologies at the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA)-hosted Communicating for Safety (CFS) conference (September 16-18, 2019) in Las Vegas, NV. The CFS conference was attended by over 1,500 participants and approximately 70 sponsors and exhibitors. This year’s CFS theme, “Every Day is a Training Day,” is also the name of NATCA’s important new safety initiative. The NASA team presented live-data views of the ATD-2 Integrated Arrival/Departure/Surface (IADS) system running at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) to familiarize CFS attendees with the technology and how it will impact operations at airports across the country in the near future. The ATD-2 system currently being demonstrated at CFS is blazing the trail for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) Program. Beginning at CFS in the Spring of 2021, the FAA TFDM Program will deploy surface traffic management capabilities similar to the ATD-2 system to 27 airports across the country. The NASA ATD-2 system includes decision support tools for both FAA air traffic controllers and for the American Airlines personnel that control ramp operations at CLT. FAA TFDM decision support tools, which were also exhibited at the CFS conference, will replace the ATD-2 system in the CFS air traffic control tower. The TFDM Program will provide data feeds which airline and airport operators will use to run their decision support tools. NASA and American Airlines used this CFS exhibit to emphasize the need for industry (i.e. flight operators, airport operators, and solution providers) to equip in a timely manner so as to be ready for TFDM deployment.

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