Full Scale Simulation of Air Traffic Management Technology Demonstration-1 (ATD-1) Operations
A full scale simulation of air traffic operations utilizing all technologies and procedures under development for NASA’s Air Traffic Management Technology Demonstration 1 (ATD-1) was successfully completed in the Airspace Operations Laboratory of the Human Systems Integration Division at NASA Ames on April 17, 2014. The simulation used traffic scenarios derived from recorded Albuquerque Center (ZAB) and Phoenix terminal-area (P50) traffic that included peak-period arrivals into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), together with recorded ZAB winds. Two former ZAB and P50 air traffic managers operated NASA’s Traffic Management Advisor for Terminal Metering (TMA-TM) to create an efficient arrival schedule for all aircraft. Eight former ZAB controllers used simulated En-Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) workstations with ATD-1 enhancements to meter traffic into P50 and initiate Flight Deck Interval Management (FIM) operations when appropriate. Eight airline pilots operated desktop-based flight simulators and used NASA’s prototype FIM system in two-thirds of the runs. Former P50 controllers used NASA’s controller managed spacing (CMS) tools to manage the aircraft along efficient descent paths to PHX arrival runways in both east- and west-flow configurations. Five additional ‘ghost’ controllers and eighteen general aviation and corporate pilots enabled control of some 200 departures and overflights and 75 arrivals per hour. This simulation will provide system-level measures of performance for operations conducted with NASA’s ATD-1 technologies and procedures and inform investment decisions by the FAA and NASA. The simulation was a joint effort of ATD-1 researchers at NASA Ames and Langley. Visitors included representatives of Thales, the FAA’s Surveillance and Broadcast Services, the FAA’s NAS Programming and Financial Management Division, the FAA Chief Scientist for NextGen, and the FAA Director of Operational Concepts, Validation, and Requirements for Air Traffic Operations.
PoCs: Todd Callantine, Ph.D., Todd.Callantine@nasa.gov, 650-604-2631, San Jose State University, Human Systems Integration Division, NASA Ames Research Center; Thomas Prevot, Ph.D.,Thomas.Prevot@nasa.gov, (650) 604-2441, Human Systems Integration Division, NASA Ames Research Center