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Air/Ground Simulation of Trajectory-Oriented Operations with Limited Delegation  (2007)
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An air/ground simulation of Trajectory-Oriented Operations with Limited Delegation (TOOWiLD) was conducted at NASA Ames Research Center in September 2006. Four radar-certified air traffic control (ATC) specialists in the Airspace Operations Laboratory (AOL), eight glass cockpit pilots in the Flight Deck Display Research Laboratory (FDDRL), and additional "ghost" pilots and controllers operated a heavy eastbound arrival push into Louisville's Standiford airport (SDF) with high density crossing traffic. An arrival management system scheduled aircraft along Continuous Descent Approaches (CDAs) and data linked arrival information to participating aircraft automatically throughout the simulation.

The 2x3 test matrix varied two flight deck conditions: (1) with and (2) without airborne spacing, over three ATC workstation conditions: (1) current day, (2) advanced ATC scheduling and spacing tools, and (3) the same tools integrated with controller pilot data link communication.

The process of automatically data linking arrival messages to participating aircraft based on a runway schedule proved to be very effective in all conditions. Flight deck-initiated speed changes to meet the CDA speed schedule and lead aircraft assignments were acceptable to pilots and controllers. Airborne spacing reduced the mean and the variance of the inter-arrival spacing on final approach, consistent with prior research. Controller scheduling and spacing tools improved handling of non-participating aircraft which did not receive the arrival information.

The research is sponsored by the Super Density Operations element of NASA's NGATS Airspace program and coordinated with the US merging and spacing team, with participation by the FAA, UPS, MITRE, and NASA.
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Air, Delegation, Ground, Limited, Oriented Operations, Simulation, Trajectory
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(2007) Proceedings of the 7th USA/Europe Air Traffic Management Research and Development Seminar, Barcelona, Spain.
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Joey Mercer
Last Updated: August 15, 2019