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Evaluation of High Density Air Traffic Operations with Automation for Separation Assurance, Weather Avoidance and Schedule Conformance  (2011)
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In this paper we discuss the development and evaluation of our prototype technologies and procedures for far-term air traffic control operations with automation for separation assurance, weather avoidance and schedule conformance. Controller-in-the-loop simulations in the Airspace Operations Laboratory at the NASA Ames Research Center in 2010 have shown very promising results. We found the operations to provide high airspace throughput, excellent efficiency and schedule conformance. The simulation also highlighted areas for improvements: Short-term conflict situations sometimes resulted in separation violations, particularly for transitioning aircraft in complex traffic flows. The combination of heavy metering and growing weather resulted in an increased number of aircraft penetrating convective weather cells. To address these shortcomings technologies and procedures have been improved and the operations are being re-evaluated with the same scenarios. In this paper we will first describe the concept and technologies for automating separation assurance, weather avoidance, and schedule conformance. Second, the results from the 2010 simulation will be reviewed. We report human-systems integration aspects, safety and efficiency results as well as airspace throughput, workload, and operational acceptability. Next, improvements will be discussed that were made to address identified shortcomings. We conclude that, with further refinements, air traffic control operations with ground-based automated separation assurance can routinely provide currently unachievable levels of traffic throughput in the en route airspace.
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Air, Assurance, Automation, Avoidance, Conformance, Density, Evaluation, High, Operations, Schedule, Separation, Traffic, Weather
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AIAA-2011-6890 11th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations (ATIO) Conference, Virginia Beach, VA, Sep. 20-22, 2011
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Last Updated: August 15, 2019