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Meeting with Aerospace Industries Association (AIA)
July 18, 2018

The NASA Ames Senior Technologist for Air Transportation, Dr. Parimal Kopardekar, was invited by the AIA to a meeting July 10-11, 2018, focused on high-altitude (60,000 feet and above) operations, and the use of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) construct. Industry plans for high altitude airspace operations and the UTM construct’s applicability to those operations were discussed, including operator use cases and the adoption of UTM for cooperative airspace operations. Along with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Chief Scientist Steve Bradford, Dr. Kopardekar discussed off-nominal and contingency situations that operators will have to consider, and how UTM’s cooperative, intent sharing, data exchange protocol would support these operations. This extension of the UTM construct to high altitude is a strong indicator of applicability and movement towards UTM-inspired air traffic management. The meeting was also attended by representatives from Google Loon and Wing, Facebook, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, Airbus, Boom, and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) members. The FAA and NASA will continue to collaborate on the high altitude UTM topic. (POC: Parimal Kopardekar)



ATD-3 DRAW and TASAR Technology Transfer to the FAA
July 18, 2018

Photo of several USB thumbdrives containing ATD-3 tech transfer documents on top of the tech transfer letter to the FAA.

As a part of the Joint Project Management Plan signed between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and NASA, a transfer of Airspace Technology Demonstration 3 (ATD-3) technologies was accomplished on June 29, 2018. The transferred ATD-3 technologies included the Dynamic Routes for Arrivals in Weather (DRAW) and Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests (TASAR) systems. DRAW is a tool which proposes advisories that save time and fuel for flights in their arrival phase by providing different arrival fix or modified routes to avoid convective weather. DRAW usage would prolong the utilization of the FAA’s Time-Based Flow Management (TBFM, with its origins in NASA-developed Traffic Management Advisor, TMA) during inclement weather, in the vicinity of destination airports. TASAR is an integral component of the Multi-Agent Air/Ground Integrated Coordination (MAAGIC) effort and resides in the cockpit of an aircraft and proposes advisories that optimize the en route phase of flight, taking into account airspace constraints, namely, crossing traffic, convective weather, and Special Use Airspace. The technology transfer package included Concept of Operations, Measures of Performance Specifications, Technical Publications, Technology Artifacts, Simulation and Evaluation Results, and Public Outreach Materials. The deliverable also included the Dynamic Weather Routes (DWR) and Multi-Flight Common Routes (MFCR) technology documents previously transferred in August 2017 and December 2017, respectively. A follow-on Technical Interchange Meeting is planned with the FAA in August 2018 to discuss the transferred documents, receive feedback, and describe subsequent work. (POC: Kapil Sheth)



Air Traffic Management Exploration (ATM-X) Test Bed Demonstration
July 18, 2018

The ATM-X Test Bed is a framework to prepare and conduct real-time human-in-the loop simulations for air traffic management research. On June 28, 2018, in support of the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) human-in-the-loop simulation, the Test Bed demonstrated its Simulation Execution capability to automatically deploy and launch simulation software on 20 computer simulation stations and 5 associated processes in the Aviation System Division’s air traffic control (ATC) Lab using the configuration defined by the Test Bed’s Simulation Architect tool. This early ATM-X Test Bed capability is a stepping stone toward reducing the difficulties associated with conducting and managing future large scale, complex human-in-the-loop simulations. (POC: Alan Lee)



ATD-2 Assessment of Ramp Times HITL at NASA Ames’s FutureFlight Central Facility
July 18, 2018

Photo of ATD-2 human-in-the-loop participants in FutureFlight Central

On June 26-28, 2018, the NASA Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) team successfully completed data collection from a human-in-the-loop (HITL) simulation at NASA Ames Research Center’s FutureFlight Central (FFC). The focus of the HITL was to assess the feasibility of ramp operations objectives, including compliance with target off-block times (TOBTs) and target movement area entry times (TMATs) generated by the ATD-2 scheduler, and the impact in terms of operations and controller workload. Simulation participants included representatives from the National Air Traffic Controller Association (NATCA), Charlotte Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT)/TRACON, and American Airlines (AAL) Ramp Tower. A training session was followed by nine data collection runs and daily debriefs. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected, as well as feedback on potential refinements to ATD-2 components, including the recently-developed Surface Metering Display (SMD). Additional observers included representatives from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) NextGen, Surface, and Operational Requirements and Validation Offices, as well as Washington Center and Atlanta Center. Results will be used to formalize plans for the introduction of strategic planning for surface metering at CLT during the Phase 2 Field Demonstration. (POC: Lindsay Stevens)



Invited Tutorial at ICRAT
July 18, 2018

Dr. Banavar Sridhar was invited by the International Conference on Research in Air Transportation (ICRAT) to present a tutorial on “Air Traffic Metrics to Quantify Disruption from Natural (Weather) and Man-made (Cyber) Causes” at the conference on June 27, 2018. The tutorial described research in the development of air traffic metrics to guide responses to weather and explores the development of metrics needed to model and mitigate man-made events. This research led to the development of Weather Impacted Traffic Index (WITI) as a regular metric computed daily by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The conference was held in the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Castelldefels, Spain. (POC: Banavar Sridhar)



ATD-2 implements prototype TFDM Terminal Publication (TTP) feed
July 18, 2018

NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) collaborated to provide a prototype Terminal Flight Data Management (TFDM) Terminal Publication (TTP) feed via the System-Wide Information Management (SWIM) Research and Development (R&D) network as part of the Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) Field Demonstration. The primary functionality of the TTP service is to distribute airport flight and flow data from the surface system to National Airspace System (NAS) consumers. This includes information pertinent to enabling surface metering, overhead stream scheduling and knowledge about airport configuration and resource utilization. TTP transmits data to the consumers through the NAS Enterprise Messaging Service (NEMS) using the publish-subscribe (pub-sub) Message Exchange Pattern (MEP). The ATD-2 implementation of TTP is based on TFDM specifications, incorporating requirements from both Build 1 and Build 2. Several consumers have expressed interest in TTP thus far and have begun the onboarding process. ATD-2 is currently publishing data for Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) and will soon add Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) airport. NASA is hopeful that early availability of TTP will help foster an environment of innovation to utilize this new information. (POC: Al Capps)



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