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ATD-2 Briefs its Phase 3 Plans to the Collaborative Decision Making (CDM) - Flow Evaluation Team
October 31, 2018

NASA briefed the Airspace Technology Demonstration-2 (ATD-2) Phase 3 field demonstration plans to the CDM Flow Evaluation Team (FET) on Oct. 18, 2018 in Orlando, FL. The NASA team introduced its terminal departure scheduling concept that leverages multiple departure route Trajectory Option Sets (departure TOS) as well as the ATD-2 Integrated Arrival, Departure and Surface (IADS) predictive engine to identify opportunities for rerouting departures during Terminal demand/capacity imbalances. The initial phase of the Phase 3 field demonstration research is scheduled for the summer of 2019 in the North Texas (NTX) metroplex. The NASA ATD-2 system includes a user interface to coordinate the use of departure TOS that that is shared among field demo partners as well as new technology in its predictive engine that assess when flights have sufficient surface departure delay to warrant alternative routes as specified by flight operator’s relative trajectory cost (RTC) input. The FET provided helpful input, expressed interest in the project and invited the NASA team to collaborate in future meetings as the work progresses. (POC: Eric Chevalley)

ATD-2 Team Conducts Working Sessions with Phase 3 Airline Field Demo Partners
October 31, 2018

NASA met with field demo partners of the Airspace Technology Demonstration-2 (ATD-2) Phase 3 effort, Oct. 23-24, 2018. The NASA team discussed the Phase 3 terminal departure capability with Southwest Airlines (SWA) and American Airlines (AA) at their headquarters in the Dallas-Fort Worth (TX) region. The team had robust discussions on the use of Trajectory Option Sets (TOS) to provide alternative routes out of the DFW TRACON (D10) region during periods of demand/capacity imbalance. The team also discussed methods to leverage existing Coded Departure Routes (CDRs) to simplify initial evaluation of the concept, specific criteria that would help NASA identify good TOS candidates for airline operational use, and candidate user interface designs. Follow-up working sessions are currently planned for November 2018. (POC: Eric Chevalley)

Southwest Airlines

American Airlines

ATD-2 Continues CLT Training for Phase 2 Field Demonstration
October 26, 2018

Due to impacts of Hurricane Florence on the September Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) Phase 2 field demonstration training, a second round of training was conducted at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT, NC) during the week of Oct. 16-20, 2018. The ATD-2 team provided training for American Airlines (AAL) ramp controllers and regional carrier staff and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) traffic management coordinators (TMCs) and front line managers (FLMs) on the new Phase 2 features as well as refresher training for all features introduced since Sept. 2017. Each training session enabled users to learn about the features while being fully hands-on with the system. In the ATCT, 11 TMCs and FLMs were trained on the updated system; in the AAL Ramp, 22 AAL personnel received full training and a handful of others received partial updates as available. (POC: Lindsay Stevens)

ATM-X Test Bed Team Training
October 18, 2018

The Air Traffic Management Exploration (ATM-X) Test Bed team will be training Test Bed users at an upcoming session at NASA Langley Research Center. Training participants will include researchers and software developers from NASA Langley, Glenn, and Ames Research Centers. The ATM-X Test Bed is being developed to address simulation and testing needs for airspace operations research and development. The Test Bed provides a sophisticated simulation and evaluation capability to test potential National Airspace System tools, procedures, and concepts. Researchers and developers can create repeatable, consistent air transportation scenarios and use a mix of live and virtual simulation assets during evaluation. This training session is the fourth in a series of training sessions for users in government, industry, and academia. Since September 2018, the team has trained participants from NASA’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) subproject, Convergent Aeronautics Solutions project, System Wide Safety project, Uber, General Electric, Honeywell, and ATAC. The team is also exploring recording the training for the use by future audiences. (POC: Kee Palopo)

ATD-2 Software Release for Phase 2 Field Demonstration
October 12, 2018

NASA’s Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) Software Development Team delivered version 4.0.0 of the Integrated Arrival/Departure/Surface (IADS) system to Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) on September 11, 2018. This software is now in daily operational use in the American Airlines (AAL) ramp tower, CLT Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control tower, Washington En Route Center and Atlanta En Route Center. ATD-2 has followed an agile requirements definition and software development process wherein field demo partners engage with the IADS system in live-data shadow evaluation sessions and provide the research team with feedback on system requirements. The IADS version 4.0.0 release includes requirements identified during shadow sessions conducted from February through May of 2018. Key areas of development included the ATD-2 integration with Advanced Electronic Flight Strips (AEFS), Atlanta Center participation in Integrated Departure/Arrival Capability (IDAC)-like scheduling into Time-Based Flow Management (TBFM), strategic surface metering capabilities, and publishing ATD-2 data to the FAA System-Wide Information Management (SWIM) architecture via the Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) Terminal Publication (TTP) prototype. IADS software version 4.1.0 will be released in mid-October and will incorporate feedback from the field to further refine the IADS system. (POC: Andrew Ging)

ATD-2 Briefing at Collaborative Site Implementation Team (CSIT) meeting
October 4, 2018

NASA Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) team members attended a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Collaborative Site Implementation Team (CSIT) meeting in Chicago, IL, September 26-27, 2018. The two-day event, hosted by United Airlines (UAL), included participants from NASA, the FAA Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) office, and the FAA Traffic Flow Management System (TFMS) office. Participants toured Chicago O'Hare International Airport (ORD) including the UAL ramp tower and UAL Station Operation Center (SOC). During the tour the NASA and FAA participants were briefed on UAL's current day surface operations at ORD and the roles and responsibilities of the ramp tower and SOC. UAL hosted a meeting at their Willis Tower headquarters in downtown Chicago where the FAA briefed UAL on TFDM and NASA briefed UAL on ATD-2. The goal of the meeting was to familiarize UAL with the TFDM concept and requirements while also illustrating the potential benefits of a surface management system. The ATD-2 briefing consisted of an overview of the ATD-2 system in Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), the accrued benefits of ATD-2 during Phase 1 operations, and the lessons learned throughout the ATD-2 project. After the briefing, UAL hosted a tour of their Network Operations Center (NOC), which acts as a centralized control center for UAL operations and synthesizes information from the various SOCs located at each airport to improve decision making across the entire UAL operations network. (POC: Jeremy Coupe)

US Coast Guard Small Boat Recovery Experiment at VMS
October 4, 2018

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) routinely operates large parent boats and small boats in inclement weather during rescue operations. These operations require the parent boat to launch and recover a small boat using a specialized lift system. Specifically, to successfully recover the small boat, USCG small boat operators must navigate alongside the parent boat, manually receive and control two 24-pound hooks lowered from the parent boat, and attach the hooks to lifting rings with precise timing in pitching and rolling seas (see Figure 1). This critical task is performed while operators maintain balance in waves of 10 feet or more without tethers or other assistance. Determining a safe operating envelope for this recovery task has proven challenging. Reliable tools are available to predict boat behavior during the launch and recover process, but avenues for predicting corresponding human performance during the task have been limited.

Figure 1: Small boat recovery task

The USCG, in collaboration with NASA Ames Research Center’s Aerospace Simulation Research and Development Branch (SimLabs), is using the large-displacement Vertical Motion Simulator (VMS) to conduct a set of studies to better understand the limits of human performance for the recovery task. Results of this experiment promise to shape USCG large and small boat acquisitions, as well as procedures, training, and technology development for USCG rescue operations.

Figure 2: VMS small boat recovery simulation

A VMS cab, typically used for flight simulation, has been modified to simulate the bow of a USCG Over-the-Horizon-IV (OTH-IV) small boat with a lifting-eye and hook (see Figure 2). The VMS motion system simulates three specific sea states with varying wave height and modal period. This provides a controlled environment for the USCG to investigate the operational suitability for the boat crew-member (BCM) to connect the hook to the boat’s lift-eye during the OTH-IV’s recovery missions under given sea states. (POC: Duc Tran)

Dr. Parimal Kopardekar Selected for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal
October 2, 2018

Photo of Parimal Kopardekar speaking in a panel discussion. A large NASA insignia is displayed in the background.

Parimal H. Kopardekar, senior technologist for air transportation systems at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, was presented a prestigious medal for government service at a gala in Washington Tuesday.

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ATD-2 Phase 2 Field Demonstration Shadow Session Completed
September 26, 2018

Photo of several people meeting around displays showing ATD-2 technologies.

On September 11, 2018, the Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) team conducted a shadow session in the NASA ATD-2 Lab (CLTlab) located at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT), to review Phase 2 requirements and accomplishments with field demo partners from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), American Airlines (AAL), and the CLT Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT). The shadow session opened with a highlight of some of the new features introduced in the recent Integrated Arrival/Departure/Surface (IADS) software release. Following a brief overview of the training plan, the ATD-2 team presented a summary of Phase 1 metrics and benefits, and discussed the Strategic Scheduling Micro-Phases to leverage Surface Metering from Phase 1 and transition the Metering Decision Making role from AAL Ramp to the ATCT. Updates regarding Atlanta Center Pre-Scheduling, TFDM Terminal Publication (TTP), and IADS Aircraft Management were also provided to the attendees, and the shadow session concluded with an approval from the field demo partners to "go-live" with Phase 2. IADS release 4.0 was deployed in the evening following the shadow session. (POC: Bob Staudenmaier)

Data Collection Completed in First Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Human-in-the-Loop Airspace Simulation
September 20, 2018

Simulation participants seated at air traffic control workstations in the NASA Ames ATC lab.

The Urban Air Mobility (UAM) subproject successfully completed the data collection for the first human-in-the-loop (HITL) UAM simulation on September 14, 2018. The objective of the simulation was to study candidate procedures and routes for flying UAM traffic in Class B and D airspace in the Dallas-Fort Worth (TX) terminal area, as well as to evaluate the corresponding impact of UAM traffic level on controller workload. Three levels of UAM traffic density (high, medium and low) were represented by vehicles temporally separated en route by 45 seconds, 60 seconds and 90 seconds respectively, on average. Three different procedures/conditions were also tested, using helicopter routes in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) Area: 1) current helicopter routes, 2) current routes with Letters of Agreement (LOA) that vertically separated the routes and codified the routes with reduced verbal communications, and 3) Modified routes with Letters of Agreement. The simulation, at NASA Ames Research Center’s Air Traffic Control simulation laboratory, included the participation of seven controllers and thirteen pseudo pilot stations from DFW Local East-3 Tower, Addison (ADS) Tower and the Dallas Love Field (DAL) helicopter controller position. Participants managed UAM traffic as well as conventional IFR and VFR traffic around DFW, DAL and ADS airspace. Data collected included actual separations between flights, throughput, workload, and usability. Data analysis is underway and the feedback received will be used to inform future UAM research. (POC: Savvy Verma)

ATD-2 Conducts Training for Phase 2 Field Demonstration
September 20, 2018

The Airspace Technology Demonstration 2 (ATD-2) team provided training for Phase 2 to American Airlines (AAL) ramp controllers and FAA Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) traffic management coordinators (TMCs) and front line managers (FLMs), Sep. 10-11, 2018, at the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (Charlotte, NC). Training included an introduction of new features, refresher training on all features introduced since September 2017, and training of new ramp controllers and TMCs on ATD-2’s Ramp Traffic Console (RTC) and Surface Trajectory Based Operations (STBO) Client. Four controllers from the AAL ramp tower and nine FAA ATCT TMCs and FLMs participated in the offered training sessions. During each session, controllers were guided through interactions with the RTC and STBO Client interfaces and engaged with features and data exchange between the two tools. Due to Hurricane Florence, training of all users could not be completed as planned; the remainder of the training will be re-scheduled to early October. At Atlanta Center, training and familiarization were conducted on the ATD-2 user interfaces and procedures for Phase 2, September 17-21. (POC: Lindsay Stevens)

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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.
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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
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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
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Sherlock Detects Traffic in Near-Real Time
August 18, 2016
Matt Leonard of 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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