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Radar coverage analysis for the Terminal Precipitation on the Glass Program

Author:
Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report ATC-450

Summary

The Terminal Precipitation on the Glass (TPoG) program proposes to improve the STARS precipitation depiction by adding an alternative precipitation product based on a national weather-radar-based mosaic, i.e., the NextGen Weather System (aka NextGen Weather Processor [NWP] and Common Support Services Weather [CSS-Wx]). This report describes spatial and temporal domain analyses conducted over the 146 terminal radar approach control (TRACON) airspaces that are within scope of TPoG to identify and quantify future TPoG benefits, as well as potential operational issues.
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Summary

The Terminal Precipitation on the Glass (TPoG) program proposes to improve the STARS precipitation depiction by adding an alternative precipitation product based on a national weather-radar-based mosaic, i.e., the NextGen Weather System (aka NextGen Weather Processor [NWP] and Common Support Services Weather [CSS-Wx]). This report describes spatial and temporal domain...

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CoSPA data product description

Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report ATC-449

Summary

This document contains a description of Consolidated Storm Prediction for Aviation (CoSPA) data products that are packaged and distributed for external users. As described in Rappa and Troxel, 2013 [1] for Corridor Integrated Weather System (CIWS) data products, CoSPA products are categorized as gridded and non-gridded. Gridded products are typically expressed as rectangular arrays whose elements contain a data value coinciding with uniformly-spaced observations or computed results on a 2-D surface. Gridded data arrays map to the earth's surface through a map projection, for example, Lambert Conformal or Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area. CoSPA generates only gridded products; there are no non-gridded data for CoSPA.
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Summary

This document contains a description of Consolidated Storm Prediction for Aviation (CoSPA) data products that are packaged and distributed for external users. As described in Rappa and Troxel, 2013 [1] for Corridor Integrated Weather System (CIWS) data products, CoSPA products are categorized as gridded and non-gridded. Gridded products are typically...

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Benchmarking the processing of aircraft tracks with triples mode and self-scheduling

Published in:
2021 IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Conf., HPEC, 20-24 September 2021.

Summary

As unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) continue to integrate into the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS), there is a need to quantify the risk of airborne collisions between unmanned and manned aircraft to support regulation and standards development. Developing and certifying collision avoidance systems often rely on the extensive use of Monte Carlo collision risk analysis simulations using probabilistic models of aircraft flight. To train these models, high performance computing resources are required. We've prototyped a high performance computing workflow designed and deployed on the Lincoln Laboratory Supercomputing Center to process billions of observations of aircraft. However, the prototype has various computational and storage bottlenecks that limited rapid or more comprehensive analyses and models. In response, we've developed a novel workflow to take advantage of various job launch and task distribution technologies to improve performance. The workflow was benchmarked using two datasets of observations of aircraft, including a new dataset focused on the environment around aerodromes. Optimizing how the workflow was parallelized drastically reduced the execution time from weeks to days.
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Summary

As unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) continue to integrate into the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS), there is a need to quantify the risk of airborne collisions between unmanned and manned aircraft to support regulation and standards development. Developing and certifying collision avoidance systems often rely on the extensive use of...

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Benefits of realist ontologies to systems engineering

Published in:
Joint Ontology Workshops 2021 Episode VII: The Bolzano Summer of Knowledge, JOWO 2021, 11-18 September 2021.

Summary

Applied ontologies have been used more and more frequently to enhance systems engineering. In this paper, we argue that adopting principles of ontological realism can increase the benefits that ontologies have already been shown to provide to the systems engineering process. Moreover, adopting Basic Formal Ontology (BFO), an ISO standard for top-level ontologies from which more domain specific ontologies are constructed, can lead to benefits in four distinct areas of systems engineering: (1) interoperability, (2) standardization, (3) testing, and (4) data exploitation. Reaping these benefits in a model-based systems engineering (MBSE) context requires utilizing an ontology's vocabulary when modeling systems and entities within those systems. If the chosen ontology abides by the principles of ontological realism, a semantic standard capable of uniting distinct domains, using BFO as a hub, can be leveraged to promote greater interoperability among systems. As interoperability and standardization increase, so does the ability to collect data during the testing and implementation of systems. These data can then be reasoned over by computational reasoners using the logical axioms within the ontology. This, in turn, generates new data that would have been impossible or too inefficient to generate without the aid of computational reasoners.
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Summary

Applied ontologies have been used more and more frequently to enhance systems engineering. In this paper, we argue that adopting principles of ontological realism can increase the benefits that ontologies have already been shown to provide to the systems engineering process. Moreover, adopting Basic Formal Ontology (BFO), an ISO standard...

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Demand and capacity modeling for advanced air mobility

Published in:
AIAA Aviation 2021 Conf., 2-6 August 2021.

Summary

Advanced Air Mobility encompasses emerging aviation technologies that transport people and cargo between local, regional, or urban locations that are currently underserved by aviation and other transportation modalities. The disruptive nature of these technologies has pushed industry, academia, and governments to devote significant investments to understand their impact on airspace risk, operational procedures, and passengers. A flexible framework was designed to assess the operational viability of these technologies and the sensitivity to a variety of assumptions. This framework is used to simulate air taxi traffic within New York City by replacing a portion of the city's taxi requests with trips taken with electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles and evaluate the sensitivity of passenger trip time to a variety of system wide assumptions. In particular, the paper focuses on the impact of the passenger capacity, landing site vehicle capacity, and fleet size. The operation density is then compared with the current air traffic to assess operation constraints that will challenge the network UAM operations.
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Summary

Advanced Air Mobility encompasses emerging aviation technologies that transport people and cargo between local, regional, or urban locations that are currently underserved by aviation and other transportation modalities. The disruptive nature of these technologies has pushed industry, academia, and governments to devote significant investments to understand their impact on airspace...

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Applicability and surrogacy of uncorrelated airspace encounter models at low altitudes

Published in:
J. Air Transport., Vol. 29, No. 3, July-September 2021, pp. 137-41.

Summary

National Airspace System (NAS) is a complex and evolving system that enables safe and efficient aviation. Advanced air mobility concepts and new airspace entrants, such as unmanned aircraft, must integrate into the NAS without degrading overall safety or efficiency. For instance, regulations, standards, and systems are required to mitigate the risk of a midair collision between aircraft. Monte Carlo simulations have been a foundational capability for decades to develop, assess, and certify aircraft conflict avoidance systems. These are often validated through human-in-the-loop experiments and flight testing. For example, an update to the Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) mandated for manned aircraft was validated in part using this approach [1]. For many aviation safety studies, manned aircraft behavior is represented using the MIT Lincoln Laboratory statistical encounter models [2–5]. The original models [2–4] were developed from 2008 to 2013 to support safety simulations for altitudes above 500 feet above ground level (AGL). However, these models were not sufficient to assess the safety of smaller unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operations below 500 feet AGL and fully support the ASTM F38 and RTCA SC-147 standards efforts. In response, newer models [5–7] with altitude floors below 500 feet AGL have been in development since 2018. Many of the models assume that aircraft behavior is uncorrelated and not dependent on air traffic services or nearby aircraft. The models were trained using observations of cooperative aircraft equipped with transponders, but data sources and assumptions vary. The newer models are organized by aircraft types of fixed-wing multi-engine, fixed-wing single engine, and rotorcraft, whereas the original models do not consider aircraft type. Our research objective was to compare the various uncorrelated models of conventional aircraft and identify how the models differ. Particularly if models of rotorcraft were sufficiently different from models of fixed-wing aircraft to require type-specific models. The scope of this work was limited to altitudes below 5000 feet AGL, the expected altitude ceiling for many new airspace entrants. The scope was also informed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) UAS Integration Office and Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE). The primary contribution is guidance on which uncorrelated models to leverage when evaluating the performance of a collision avoidance system designed for low-altitude operations, such as prescribed by the ASTM F3442 detect and avoid standard for smaller UAS [8]. We also address which models can be surrogates for non-cooperative aircraft without transponders. All models and software used are publicly available under open source licenses [9].
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Summary

National Airspace System (NAS) is a complex and evolving system that enables safe and efficient aviation. Advanced air mobility concepts and new airspace entrants, such as unmanned aircraft, must integrate into the NAS without degrading overall safety or efficiency. For instance, regulations, standards, and systems are required to mitigate the...

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The need for spectrum and the impact on weather observations

Summary

One of the most significant challenges—and potential opportunities—for the scientific community is society's insatiable need for the radio spectrum. Wireless communication systems have profoundly impacted the world's economies and its inhabitants. Newer technological uses in telemedicine, Internet of Things, streaming services, intelligent transportation, etc., are driving the rapid development of 5G/6G (and beyond) wireless systems that demand ever-increasing bandwidth and performance. Without question, these wireless technologies provide an important benefit to society with the potential to mitigate the economic divide across the world. Fundamental science drives the development of future technologies and benefits society through an improved understanding of the world in which we live. Often, these studies require use of the radio spectrum, which can lead to an adversarial relationship between ever evolving technology commercialization and the quest for scientific understanding. Nowhere is this contention more acute than with atmospheric remote sensing and associated weather forecasts (Saltikoff et al. 2016; Witze 2019), which was the theme for the virtual Workshop on Spectrum Challenges and Opportunities for Weather Observations held in November 2020 and hosted by the University of Oklahoma. The workshop focused on spectrum challenges for remote sensing observations of the atmosphere, including active (e.g., weather radars, cloud radars) and passive (e.g., microwave imagers, radiometers) systems for both spaceborne and ground-based applications. These systems produce data that are crucial for weather forecasting—we chose to primarily limit the workshop scope to forecasts up to 14 days, although some observations (e.g., satellite) cover a broader range of temporal scales. Nearly 70 participants from the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia took part in a concentrated and intense discussion focused not only on current radio frequency interference (RFI) issues, but potential cooperative uses of the spectrum ("spectrum sharing"). Equally important to the workshop's international makeup, participants also represented different sectors of the community, including academia, industry, and government organizations. Given the importance of spectrum challenges to the future of scientific endeavor, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) recently began the Spectrum Innovation Initiative (SII) program, which has a goal to synergistically grow 5G/6G technologies with crucial scientific needs for spectrum as an integral part of the design process. The SII program will accomplish this goal in part through establishing the first nationwide institute focused on 5G/6G technologies and science. The University of California, San Diego (UCSD), is leading an effort to compete for NSF SII funding to establish the National Center for Wireless Spectrum Research. As key partners in this effort, the University of Oklahoma (OU) and The Pennsylvania State University (PSU) hosted this workshop to bring together intellectual leaders with a focus on impacts of the spectrum revolution on weather observations and numerical weather prediction.
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Summary

One of the most significant challenges—and potential opportunities—for the scientific community is society's insatiable need for the radio spectrum. Wireless communication systems have profoundly impacted the world's economies and its inhabitants. Newer technological uses in telemedicine, Internet of Things, streaming services, intelligent transportation, etc., are driving the rapid development of...

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Towards the next generation operational meteorological radar

Summary

This article summarizes research and risk reduction that will inform acquisition decisions regarding NOAA's future national operational weather radar network. A key alternative being evaluated is polarimetric phased-array radar (PAR). Research indicates PAR can plausibly achieve fast, adaptive volumetric scanning, with associated benefits for severe-weather warning performance. We assess these benefits using storm observations and analyses, observing system simulation experiments, and real radar-data assimilation studies. Changes in the number and/or locations of radars in the future network could improve coverage at low altitude. Analysis of benefits that might be so realized indicates the possibility for additional improvement in severe weather and flash-flood warning performance, with associated reduction in casualties. Simulations are used to evaluate techniques for rapid volumetric scanning and assess data quality characteristics of PAR. Finally, we describe progress in developing methods to compensate for polarimetric variable estimate biases introduced by electronic beam-steering. A research-to-operations (R2O) strategy for the PAR alternative for the WSR-88D replacement network is presented.
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Summary

This article summarizes research and risk reduction that will inform acquisition decisions regarding NOAA's future national operational weather radar network. A key alternative being evaluated is polarimetric phased-array radar (PAR). Research indicates PAR can plausibly achieve fast, adaptive volumetric scanning, with associated benefits for severe-weather warning performance. We assess these...

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Mobile capabilities for micro-meteorological predictions: FY20 Homeland Protection and Air Traffic Control Technical Investment Program

Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report TIP-146

Summary

Existing operational numerical weather forecast systems are geographically too coarse and not sufficiently accurate to adequately support future needs in applications such as Advanced Air Mobility, Unmanned Aerial Systems, and wildfire forecasting. This is especially true with respect to wind forecasts. Principal factors contributing to this are the lack of observation data within the atmospheric boundary layer and numerical forecast models that operate on low-resolution grids. This project endeavored to address both of these issues. Firstly, by development and demonstration of specially equipped fixed-wing drones to collect atmospheric data within the boundary layer, and secondly by creating a high-resolution weather research forecast model executing on the Lincoln Laboratory Supercomputing Center. Some success was achieved in the development and flight testing of the specialized drones. Significant success was achieved in the development of the high-resolution forecasting system and demonstrating the feasibility of ingesting atmospheric observations from small airborne platforms.
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Summary

Existing operational numerical weather forecast systems are geographically too coarse and not sufficiently accurate to adequately support future needs in applications such as Advanced Air Mobility, Unmanned Aerial Systems, and wildfire forecasting. This is especially true with respect to wind forecasts. Principal factors contributing to this are the lack of...

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Advanced Air Mobility assessment framework: FY20 Homeland Protection and Air Traffic Control Technical Investment Program

Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report TIP-145

Summary

Advanced Air Mobility encompasses emerging aviation technologies that transport people and cargo between local, regional, or urban locations that are currently underserved by aviation and other transportation modalities. The disruptive nature of these technologies has pushed industry, academia, and governments to devote significant investments to understand their impact on airspace risk, operational procedures, and passengers. A flexible framework was designed to assess the operational viability of these technologies and the sensitivity to a variety of assumptions. This framework is used to simulate an initial AAM implementation scenario in New York City. This scenario was created by replacing a portion of NYC taxi requests with electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles. The framework was used to assess the sensitivity of this scenario to a variety of system assumption.
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Summary

Advanced Air Mobility encompasses emerging aviation technologies that transport people and cargo between local, regional, or urban locations that are currently underserved by aviation and other transportation modalities. The disruptive nature of these technologies has pushed industry, academia, and governments to devote significant investments to understand their impact on airspace...

READ MORE