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Dynamic Routes for Arrivals in Weather (DRAW) Human-in-the-Loop Simulation #4 Completed
December 20, 2018

Operator station showing DRAW tools during the fourth human-in-the-loop simulation.

The fourth in a series of planned Human-in-the-Loop (HITL) studies of the Dynamic Routes for Arrivals in Weather (DRAW) tool was conducted October 22-November 2 at NASA Ames Research Center's Air Traffic Control (ATC) simulation laboratory. The purpose of this simulation was to evaluate arrival metering and weather impact mitigation benefits for Atlanta En Route Center (ZTL) arrivals, to assess the effects of different schedule freeze horizon distances on DRAW performance, and to evaluate DRAW reroute coordination with expanded (relative to HITL #3) operations into Jacksonville En Route Center (ZJX) airspace. Study participants included four recently-retired Traffic Management Coordinators (TMCs) (two each from ZTL and ZJX) and seven recently-retired Sector Controllers (two from ZTL, one from ZJX and four from Oakland Center). A pair of TMCs (one from ZTL, one from ZJX) participated as a team each week of the study, with the ZTL TMC participating as the primary DRAW user and the ZJX TMC providing consultation for reroutes impacting ZJX airspace and operations. Each TMC team evaluated two weather-impacted arrival traffic scenarios at two schedule freeze horizon distances, and both with and without DRAW functionality, across 16 total runs. The DRAW functions included TMC reroute advisories and schedule impact/delay information. TMCs used the DRAW trial planning capability to evaluate candidate reroutes for weather avoidance, assess their schedule delay impact, coordinated reroutes with sector controllers when required, and amend flight routes as necessary to maintain effective arrival metering. The inclusion of ZJX personnel in HITL #4 allowed researchers to investigate the coordination required for reroutes across Center boundaries. Data collection included questionnaires and DRAW performance data. Researchers gained valuable feedback toward DRAW use in operations that may include extended metering and coupled scheduling. Data analysis is currently underway. (POC: Doug Isaacson)



ATD-2 Presents Phase 3 Concept of Use to the Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) - Flow Evaluation Team
December 20, 2018

Participants of the CDM-FET meeting gathered around a conference table.

NASA briefed the Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) Phase 3 Concept of Use to the CDM Flow Evaluation Team (FET) on December 6, 2018 in Washington, DC. The NASA team presented a deep-dive into the Phase 3 concept with a story board that featured early mock-ups and data elements that will be used during the departure trajectory option set (TOS) operation. The NASA ATD-2 system will help to identify opportunities for rerouting departures during terminal demand/capacity imbalances. The system includes a user interface to coordinate the use of departure TOS that is shared among field demo partners. New technology in the predictive engine assesses when flights have sufficient surface departure delay to warrant alternative routes, as specified by flight operator's relative trajectory cost (RTC) input. The FET group provided feedback on the concept of use and the data elements, and committed to provide on-going support to NASA's Phase 3 activities. (POC: Eric Chevalley)



ATD-2 Briefing at Collaborative Site Implementation Team (CSIT) Meeting
December 12, 2018

Photograph of CSIT meeting participants viewing a presentation in a conference room.

American Airlines (AAL) and Southwest Airlines (SWA) hosted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Collaborative Site Implementation Team (CSIT) meeting, December 4-5, 2018. NASA’s Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) team members participated, along with the FAA, to brief AAL at Dallas-Fort Worth (TX) International Airport (DFW) on upcoming plans to deploy the Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) across the National Airspace System (NAS). Due to AAL's experience with ATD-2 at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT, NC), part of the briefing highlighted the similarities and differences between the ATD-2 Integrated Arrival, Departure, Surface (IADS) system and the TFDM system. The meeting with SWA took place at SWA headquarters in Dallas, TX where members from the FAA briefed SWA on the design of TFDM along with the deployment plan across the NAS; NASA participants briefed SWA on the accrued benefits of the IADS system at CLT. The meetings helped both AAL and SWA gain more understanding of the TFDM system and how the transition from ATD-2 to TFDM will take place at both CLT and the North Texas region. (POC: Jeremy Coupe)



NASA ATD-2 Team Briefs the System Wide Information Management (SWIM) Industry-FAA Team (SWIFT)
November 21, 2018

Photograph of ATD-2 researcher presenting to a roomful of people.

On November 15, 2018, the NASA Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) subproject participated in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-hosted SWIFT team event in Washington D.C. The purpose of the FAA Program Management Organization (PMO) event was to foster discussion and innovation among users of System Wide Information Management (SWIM) data. The venue was well-attended by numerous industry airline operators, vendors that support these operators, the FAA and NASA, and included a keynote presentation by Southwest Airlines. NASA’s presentations highlighted the ATD-2 system’s operation in field environments for over a year, which is almost completely enabled by live SWIM feeds from six distinct SWIM services. NASA also presented the benefits that have been obtained from this system while illustrating specific operational uses of new data in both air traffic control and operator environments. The TFDM Terminal Publication (TTP) feed that NASA is producing on the SWIM research and development network was briefly discussed and the aviation community was encouraged to gain access to it to foster innovation. NASA also presented the challenges of consuming SWIM data from numerous sources, including understanding the data elements in the context of the operational FAA system source, mapping to consistent internal definitions, transforming to allow for robust handling of SWIM input changes, and producing the right data at the right time. The Fuser component that is used for mediation was briefly discussed as well as some lessons learned and how others in the community might gain access to it. (POC: Shawn Gorman)



UAS in the NAS - Honeywell Flight Test
November 21, 2018

Photograph of the King Air and AStar used in the flight test.

Under an agreement between NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) (UAS/NAS) project and Honeywell, a flight test was successfully conducted in Deer Valley, Arizona on October 24-25, 2018. The purpose of the flight test was to characterize performance of a low cost, size, weight, and power airborne radar, the digital adaptive phased array (DAPA)-Lite. This radar has the potential to be utilized by the detect-and-avoid (DAA) system of an unmanned vehicle. The flight test involved two aircraft, Honeywell’s AStar helicopter (which acted as a UAS surrogate) and a King Air. The radar was installed on the AStar and approximately 60 encounters between the two aircraft were flown. Surveillance data, including from radar and ADS-B, were collected. Results will be analyzed and used in the planning of the UAS/NAS project’s Flight Test 6, as well as to further inform RTCA of DAA requirements. (POC: Gilbert Wu)

Photograph of the Honeywell team
Honeywell team (Jamal Hague, POC, 5th from left) and NASA personnel (Sam Kim AFRC, 4th from left; Gilbert Wu ARC, 8th from left)



ATD-2 Briefing at Collaborative Site Implementation Team (CSIT) meeting
November 8, 2018

Photo of people on tour of Delta's ramp tower operations

On October 16-17, 2018, members from the NASA Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) team participated in a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Collaborative Site Implementation Team (CSIT) meeting hosted by Delta Airlines (DAL) at their headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. The two day event was the second CSIT meeting that NASA has attended alongside members from the FAA Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) office with the goal of helping airline operators prepare for the future deployment of TFDM across the National Airspace System (NAS). The first day consisted of briefings from the FAA TFDM office, the FAA Traffic Flow Management System (TFMS) office, and the NASA ATD-2 team. The ATD-2 briefing contained an overview of the ATD-2 system running in Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), the accrued benefits during Phase 1 of operations, and the lessons learned throughout the project. Included in the ATD-2 briefing were early results from automated prescheduling of controlled flights from CLT into Atlanta Center (ZTL) airspace. On the second day, DAL provided a tour of ramp tower operations at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in which NASA and FAA participants observed live operations. These observations were helpful for the NASA and FAA teams to envision how new data sharing from the future TFDM system might be integrated into the existing operation. (POC: Jeremy Coupe)



UAM Coordination and Assessment Team Industry Day
November 8, 2018

UAM Grand Challenge Industry Day graphic

The Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Coordination and Assessment Team (UCAT) held an Industry Day meeting in Seattle, Washington, November 1-2, 2018. The purpose of this meeting was to gather with interested stakeholders and gain input on the UAM Grand Challenge demonstration, scheduled for 2020. Over 270 people from industry, academia, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NASA attended the event. NASA has released a Request For Information (RFI) about participation in the Grand Challenge, where aircraft and airspace systems can demonstrate capabilities/technologies in order to further the realization of UAM operations. (POC: Karen Cate)



Two-Way Information Exchange with General Aviation Pilots Through Mobile Application Technology with NASA ATD-2
November 8, 2018

Graphic of two-way information exchange example

On November 5, 2018, two-way information exchange with the NASA Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) system was enabled with General Aviation (GA) operations at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT) by leveraging The MITRE Corporation’s mobile application. The mobile app work is being led by the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) NextGen (ANG) program office. The mobile information-sharing technology will now receive flight-specific schedule and planning information when the GA pilots submit a ready-times for their flights. This exchange is being performed in a manner that is logically consistent with the FAA Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) surface system interface specifications. Unlike commercial operations at CLT’s main ramp, where airlines share Earliest Off-Block Times (EOBTs) for each departing flight, GA operations did not have that same mechanism. NASA, FAA, and MITRE began the initial phase of beta-testing at CLT in October 2017 with a prototype mobile application that allowed GA pilots to submit a Ready-to-Taxi Time (RTT) for their flights. The RTT represents the pilot’s best estimate of when they will be ready to contact Ground Control to request their taxi clearance. With better predictions of ready-times for GA flights, the ATD-2 Scheduler can more accurately predict runway demand and surface schedules. Based on pilot feedback, MITRE introduced an SMS Texting capability earlier this year which allows participants to more conveniently submit their RTT via text rather than through a mobile application. Information generated by the ATD-2 scheduler is then passed to the user via the new TFDM Terminal Publication (TTP) that NASA is publishing on the System Wide Information Management (SWIM) research and development network. This real-time data includes expected runway assignment, expected takeoff time, and Traffic Management Initiative (TMI) information when applicable. NASA, FAA, and MITRE will continue to collect user feedback on the new two-way information exchange. (POC: Debi Bakowski)



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IN THE MEDIA
How NASA makes your airplane flights better than ever
September 28, 2018
Interesting article on NASA Aeronautics from CNET.
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Transportation engineer involved in drone traffic management
June 1, 2018
Debra Werner of Aerospace America interviews Arwa Aweiss, Flight Test Director for NASA's UTM Project.
+ Read the article

The Future of Drone Delivery Hinges on Predicting the Weather Block by Block
June 21, 2017
Thomas Black from Bloomberg News reports.
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NASA Completes its Latest Drone Traffic Management Flight Campaign
June 8, 2017
Article on NASA.gov
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Fixing The Most Inefficient Phase Of Flight: Ground Operations
March 1, 2017
John Croft from Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine reports on how the Integrated Arrival, Departure and Surface (IADS) traffic management system will help to improve terminal operations.
+ Read the article

360-Degree Airport Simulator Tests the Future of Air Traffic Control
December 14, 2016
FutureFlight Central and ATD-2 are featured on NASA.gov.
+ Read the NASA article

Sherlock Detects Traffic in Near-Real Time
August 18, 2016
Matt Leonard of GCN.com reports on how Sherlock combines data from different FAA facilities into one nationwide, near-real-time file on air traffic data to enable large-scale analyses of the U.S. air traffic system.
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NASA Pulls Together National Data to Sleuth Out Air Traffic Improvement Mysteries
August 11, 2016
NASA's newly improved tool, the Sherlock Air Traffic Management (ATM) Data Warehouse, merges all of the air traffic facility data to produce analysis-ready, end-to-end flight information at these improved resolutions for the entire U.S. airspace.
+ Read the NASA article

Transportation Department, NASA, Partners Visit Charlotte to Open Test Lab to Streamline Air Travel
June 24, 2016
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden today were joined by representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), American Airlines, and the Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) to celebrate the official opening of a new airspace technology demonstration (ATD-2) laboratory.
+ Read the Press Release

FAA Breaks Ground for New Air Traffic Control Tower at Charlotte Douglas International Airport
June 2, 2016
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Deputy Administrator Michael G. Whitaker broke ground today for a new 370-foot-tall air traffic control tower and radar approach control at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT).
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