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The Airspace Operations Laboratory's (AOL) Upper Class-E Traffic Management Team (ETM) Conducted Multi-Day Tabletop Session with Industry Operator Focus Group
(Jan 24, 2023)
The Upper Class-E Traffic Management (ETM) team conducted a virtual tabletop session with high-altitude vehicle and operations experts representing 7 different industry partners. The interactive sessions focused on the development of Cooperative Operating Practices (COPs) in regard to strategic conflict detection between high-altitude, uncrewed, slow High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) aircraft (balloon, airship, and fixed-wing). The approach to the tabletop session was to follow a roadmap that was developed by the ETM team to guide the participants along a path to understanding the ETM system research underway at NASA and how the further development of the concept will inform the future testing planned as part of the xTM Sub-Project. The first area of discussion focused on the fundamental elements pertaining to the creation of operation plans and corresponding operation intents. An initial familiarization session was followed by an interactive discussion with valuable participant input. The first day concluded with the administration of an online questionnaire corresponding with the day's discussions on operation plans and intents. The second day focused on familiarization of strategic conflict detection research and a deep dive on the related topic of operational intent intersections. The final topic of discussion was the notion of using COPs as part of the strategic management process through the resolution of intent intersections.

Overall the ETM tabletop event provided great insight to the NASA research team by the industry partners and vice versa. The main goal behind this tabletop was to drive the research and prototyping requirements in order to conduct a collaborative evaluation with a set of partners later this calendar year. With the data and insight gained over the two days, the team will be ready and able to test and demonstrate an early reference ETM system that incorporates the current work with the community in designing COPs. In the near term, the ETM team will review the discussion sessions and questionnaire data with plans to produce a written report and subsequent presentations to stakeholders.
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Jessica Nowinski
Last Updated: September 11, 2023