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Airspace Operations Lab Left-Side Header Image
Mission statement header
Our mission in the Airspace Operations Laboratory (AOL) is twofold:

(1) to provide a better understanding of roles, responsibilities, and requirements for human operators and automation in future air traffic management (ATM) systems;

(2) to develop, evaluate, and integrate operational concepts and technologies for Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) in a high fidelity human-in-the-loop (HITL) environment.
Highlights Header
Airspace Operations Lab Completes ATD-1 Terminal Sequencing and Spacing Interface Study
The AOL successfully completed a human-in-the-loop simulation study on Ground Based Interval Management-Spacing (GIM-S) for NASA's Air Traffic Management Demonstration -1 (ATD-1) in April.
The AOL opened its doors for a "Backstage Pass Tour" at the NASA Open House Oct. 18, 2014! Researchers and Air Traffic Controller Subject Matter Experts were on on hand to talk about the research being conducted in the AOL lab.
The Function Allocation for Separation Assurance Workshop was conducted on July 29th 2014 at the NASA Ames Conference Center. The workshop was meant to provide a forum for further discussion at a panel presentation the following day at the HCI-Aero 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center.
Airspace Operations Lab Image Collage
AOL Overview Header
The Airspace Operations Lab evaluates ATM concepts and explores human-system interaction issues in a simulation environment designed to allow rapid prototyping of NextGen concepts. This environment allows simulations of aircraft, ATM systems and communication infrastructure for both current day operations and a variety of future, highly automated concepts. Controller workstations are realistic emulations of today's en route, Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) and oceanic systems, enhanced with various AOL-developed decision support tools and automated functions.

Our main research goal is to evaluate future ATM systems and associated human-system interactions. These findings help the ATM community to understand how these potential issues relate to NextGen concepts, and can lead to better understanding of roles and responsibilities for human operators and automation in future ATM systems.
Current Research header
Air Traffic Management Technology Demonstration 1 (ATD-1)
The AOL develops and evaluates Controller Managed Spacing (CMS) tools, procedures, clearance phraseology and concepts to support Continuous Descent Operations during periods of sustained high traffic demand, as part of NASA's Air Traffic Management Technology Demonstration 1 (ATD1) that will demonstrate integrated operations in the field.
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In cooperation with NASA Langley Research Center, our research is aimed at improving the function allocation between airborne and ground-based automation and human operators in order to achieve significant capacity and efficiency gains with the same level of safety as current day for NextGen and beyond.
Click ot go to the NextGen Future Environments Page The New York area airspace is notoriously complex and demanding, and is responsible for a large portion of the delays and congestion in the United States. A new research effort was initiated to examine the chronic problems associated with New York, and to develop integrated NextGen concepts that leveraged existing NASA and other NextGen technologies to reduce delays, increase throughput, and/or improve trajectory efficiencies in this region.
Click ot go to the SOAR Page Metroplex areas consist of multiple interacting airports resulting in complex flows of crossing arriving and departing traffic in the terminal airspace. This research explores control tools and more efficient operations to solve spatial and temporal separation of flows of traffic in shared airspace problems.
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Everett Palmer
Last Updated: August 4, 2014