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Free flight allows aircraft greater flexibility in en route maneuvers but shifts the responsibility for maintaining safe separation with other aircraft onto the pilot. With the shift in responsibilities, a flight deck tool is required in order to aid the flight crew with the tasks of maintaining separation. This tool should detect conflicts far in advance so that pilots can respond to conflict alerts in a strategic manner.

This approach is in contrast with the reactive, tactical response elicited by the current Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) developed by Honeywell, whose alerts are short range and immediate. To study this concept, our team has developed a Cockpit Display of Traffic Information (CDTI) system that is integrated with a Conflict Detection and Resolution (CD&R) tool. Based on flight path "Intent", the CD&R tool detects conflicts up to 12 minutes in advance and automates conflict resolutions by presenting to the pilot a list of pre-computed maneuvers that will result in a "de-conflict" prior to the time of loss of separation (LOS).

Click to view the Display of automated conflict resolutions
Display of automated conflict resolutions
(enlargement shows 3 maneuver options).
(Click for larger) (186 kb)
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Walter Johnson
Last Updated: June 22, 2012