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Impact of Different Trajectory Option Set Participation Levels within an Air Traffic Management Collaborative Trajectory Option Program  (2018)
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This paper presents the methodology and results of a Human-In-The-Loop (HITL) simulation study conducted in the Airspace Operations Laboratory at NASA Ames Research Center. This study is a part of NASA's ongoing research into developing an Integrated Demand Management (IDM) concept, whose aim is to improve traffic flow management (TFM) by coordinating the FAA's strategic Traffic Flow Management System (TFMS) with its more tactical Time-Based Flow Management (TBFM) system. The purpose of TFM is to regulate air traffic demand so that it is delivered efficiently through constrained airspace resources without exceeding their capacity limits. The IDM concept leverages a new TFMS capability called the Collaborative Trajectory Options Program (CTOP) to strategically pre- condition traffic demand flowing into a TBFM-managed arrival environment, where TBFM is responsible for managing traffic tactically by generating precise arrival schedules. Unlike other TFM tools, CTOP gives flight operators the option of submitting a set of user-preferred alternative trajectories for each flight. CTOP can then use these trajectory option sets (or TOSs) to find user-preferred alternative routes to reduce demand on an overloaded resource. CTOP's effectiveness in redistributing demand is limited, however, by the availability of flights with alternative routes. The research presented in this paper focuses on evaluating the impact on TFM operations by varying the percentage of flights that submit a multiple-option TOS ('TOS participation levels'). Results show the impact on overall system performance and on the rerouted flights themselves. The simulation used a Newark (EWR) airport arrival scenario, with en route weather affecting traffic inbound from the west. The task was to control three arrival flows (north, west, and south) to meet their individual capacity constraints while simultaneously ensuring efficient utilization of the capacity at the destination airport. A large, permeable convective weather cell located southeast of Chicago severely reduced the capacity of the west flow. The study evaluated the impact of five different TOS participation levels on CTOP's ability to re-allocate traffic from the west and improve TFM performance in terms of delay assignment and traffic delivery rate to the airport. Overall, the results showed that increasing TOS submissions allowed the overall system delays to be reduced and fairly distributed among the three arrival flows, at the same time achieving the airport throughput rate. Moreover, it was found that aircraft who submitted a TOS saw a greater reduction in delay, even when they were assigned longer routes. This was particularly true when fewer aircraft submitted a TOS. The results confirm that the CTOP operations with higher TOS participation levels helped utilize the overall National Airspace System (NAS) resources as well as benefited the users who participated.
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Air, Collaborative, concept, Demand, Different, Flow, IDM, Impact, Integrated, Management, TBFM, Time-Based, Traffic, Trajectory
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Last Updated: August 15, 2019