Wind information requirements for NextGen applications, phase 3 final report
December 15, 2014
Many NextGen applications depend on access to high accuracy wind data due to time-based control elements, such as required time of arrival at a meter fix under 4D-Trajectory-Based Operations/Time of Arrival Control procedures or compliance to an assigned spacing goal between aircraft under Interval Management procedures. Any errors in the ground and/or aircraft wind information relative to the truth winds actually flown through can significantly degrade the performance of the procedure. Unacceptable performance could be mitigated by improving wind information in the aircraft, for example, by using higher accuracy wind forecast models to generate wind inputs for the ground or airborne systems, updating wind information more frequently, or to upgrade the way winds are handled in the avionics systems. The work described in this report summarizes the activities conducted in FY14, which builds upon prior work. It (1) establishes the relationship of wind information accuracy to 4D-TBO and IM performance for a selection of operationally relevant scenarios to identify wind needs to support them, and (2) presents examples of what wind information content and update rate to the aircraft will deliver a given target performance level to help inform concept of operations development and datalink technology needs.