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Wind information requirements for NextGen applications phase 7 report

Summary

This report details the Required Time of Arrival (RTA) performance of B757 aircraft arriving at various meter fixes across a range of altitudes from 33,000' down to 3,000' above ground level (AGL). The system tested demonstrated less than ±10 second arrival error in at least 95% of flights at meter fixes down to 7,000' AGL regardless of the forecast quality provided. Below 7,000' AGL, RTA performance significantly degraded demonstrating around 80% compliance under the best forecast and operating conditions. This report also provides a comprehensive lexicon of aviation and air traffic control related "wind" terms.
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Summary

This report details the Required Time of Arrival (RTA) performance of B757 aircraft arriving at various meter fixes across a range of altitudes from 33,000' down to 3,000' above ground level (AGL). The system tested demonstrated less than ±10 second arrival error in at least 95% of flights at meter...

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Wind information requirements for NextGen operations, phase 5 report

Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report ATC-439

Summary

NextGen applications with time-based control elements, such as required time of arrival (RTA) at a meter fix under 4D trajectory-based operations (4D-TBO)/time of arrival control (TOAC) procedures or assigned spacing goal between aircraft under Interval Management (IM) procedures, are subject to the quality of the atmospheric forecast utilized by participating aircraft. The work described in this report summarizes the major activities conducted in the current phase of this program which builds upon prior work. The major objectives were: 1. Support RTCA Special Committee-206 Aeronautical Information and Meteorological Data Link Services and co-chair a sub-group responsible for developing the document "Guidance for Data Linking Forecast and Real-Time Wind Information to Aircraft." 2. Analyze the performance of publicly available forecast as compared to in-situ reported atmospheric conditions, specifically comparing Global Forecast System (GFS) and High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) forecast data to recorded in-flight weather Meteorological Data Collection and Reporting System (MDCRS) data. 3. Analyze current and future Flight Management Systems (FMSs) to conduct operations at significantly lower altitudes than previous studies. 4. Evaluate potential sources of aircraft-derived winds to better support 4D-TBO activities. 5. Provide recommendations for high-value future work.
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Summary

NextGen applications with time-based control elements, such as required time of arrival (RTA) at a meter fix under 4D trajectory-based operations (4D-TBO)/time of arrival control (TOAC) procedures or assigned spacing goal between aircraft under Interval Management (IM) procedures, are subject to the quality of the atmospheric forecast utilized by participating...

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Report on the 2016 CoSPA and Traffic Flow Impact Operational Demonstration(4.64 MB)

Published in:
Project Report ATC-433, MIT Lincoln Laboratory

Summary

The 2016 Storm Prediction for Aviation (CoSPA) Demonstration was conducted from 1 June to 31 October 2016. As part of the demonstration, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) facilities and commercial airlines were visited by MIT Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL) observers, including initial training visits. Targeted field observations were conducted to gather information on how the CoSPA weather forecast was used in operations, to obtain feedback on new capabilities, and to collect comments for improvement.
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Summary

The 2016 Storm Prediction for Aviation (CoSPA) Demonstration was conducted from 1 June to 31 October 2016. As part of the demonstration, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) facilities and commercial airlines were visited by MIT Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL) observers, including initial training visits. Targeted field observations were conducted to gather...

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Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) environmental benefits assessment

Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report ATC-420

Summary

This work monetizes the environmental benefits of Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) capabilities which reduce fuel burn and gaseous emissions, and in turn reduce climate change and air quality effects. A methodology is created which takes TFDM "engines-on" taxi time savings and converts them to fuel and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions savings, accounting for aircraft fleet mix at each of 27 TFDM analysis airports over a 2016-2048 analysis timeframe. Total fuel reductions of approximately 300 million U.S. gallons are estimated, resulting in monetized benefits from all TFDM capabilities of $65m-$582m undiscounted, $23m-$310m discounted, depending on the Social Cost of CO2 (SCC) and discount rate used. A similar methodology is used to estimate monetized benefits of reduced air quality emissions as well.
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Summary

This work monetizes the environmental benefits of Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) capabilities which reduce fuel burn and gaseous emissions, and in turn reduce climate change and air quality effects. A methodology is created which takes TFDM "engines-on" taxi time savings and converts them to fuel and carbon dioxide (CO2)...

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En route sector capacity model final report

Author:
Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report ATC-426

Summary

Accurate predictions of en route sector capacity are vital when analyzing the benefits of proposed new air traffic management decision-support tools or new airspace designs. Controller workload is the main determinant of sector capacity. This report describes a new workload-based capacity model that improves upon the Federal Aviation Administration's current Monitor Alert capacity model. Analysts often use Monitor Alert sector capacities in evaluating the benefits of decision-support aids or airspace designs. However, Monitor Alert, which was designed to warn controllers of possible sector overload, sets sector capacity limits based solely on handoff workload and fixed procedural constraints. It ignores the effects of conflict workload and recurring workload (from activities such as monitoring, vectoring, spacing, and metering). Each workload type varies differently as traffic counts and airspace designs are changed. When used for benefits analysis, Monitor Alert's concentration on a single workload type can lead to erroneous conclusions. The new model considers all three workload types. We determine the relative contribution of the three workload types by fitting the model to the upper frontiers that appear in peak daily sector traffic counts from today's system. When we fit the Monitor Alert model to these same peak traffic counts, it can only explain the observed frontiers by hypothesizing large handoff workload. Large handoff workload would imply that decision-support aids should focus on handoff tasks. The new model fits the traffic data with less error, and shows that recurring tasks create significantly more workload in all sectors than do handoff tasks. The new model also shows that conflict workload dominates in very small sectors. These findings suggest that it is more beneficial to develop decision-support aids for recurring tasks and conflict tasks than for handoff tasks.
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Summary

Accurate predictions of en route sector capacity are vital when analyzing the benefits of proposed new air traffic management decision-support tools or new airspace designs. Controller workload is the main determinant of sector capacity. This report describes a new workload-based capacity model that improves upon the Federal Aviation Administration's current...

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Airspace flow rate forecast algorithms, validation, and implementation

Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report ATC-428

Summary

This report summarizes work performed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory during the period 1 February 2015 - 30 November 2015 focused on developing and improving algorithms to estimate the impact of convective weather on air traffic flows. The core motivation for the work is the need to improve strategic traffic flow management decision-making in the National Airspace System. The algorithms developed as part of this work translate multiple weather forecast products into a discrete airspace impact metric called permeability.
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Summary

This report summarizes work performed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory during the period 1 February 2015 - 30 November 2015 focused on developing and improving algorithms to estimate the impact of convective weather on air traffic flows. The core motivation for the work is the need to improve strategic traffic flow...

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Revised multifunction phased array radar (MPAR) network siting analysis

Author:
Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report ATC-425

Summary

As part of the NextGen Surveillance and Weather Radar Capability (NSWRC) program, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently developing the solution for aircraft and meteorological surveillance in the future National Airspace System (NAS). A potential solution is a multifunction phased array radar (MPAR) that would replace some or all of the single-purpose radar types used in the NAS today. One attractive aspect of MPAR is that the number of radars deployed would decrease, because redundancy in coverage by single-mission sensors would be reduced with a multifunction system. The lower radar count might then result in overall life cycle cost savings, but in order to estimate costs, a reliable estimate of the number of MPARs is needed. Thus this report addresses the question, "If today's weather and aircraft surveillance radars are replaced by a single class of multimission radars, how many would be needed to replicate the current air space coverage over the United States and its territories?" Various replacement scenarios must be considered, since it is not yet determined which of the organizations that own today's radars (the FAA, the National Weather Service (NWS), the different branches of the U.S. military) would join in an MPAR program. It updates a previous study using a revised set of legacy systems, including 81 additional military airbase radars. Six replacement scenarios were considered, depending on the radar mission categories. Scenario 1 would replace terminal radars only, i.e., the Airport Surveillance Radars (ASRs) and the Terminal Doppler Weather Radar (TDWR). Scenario 2 would include the Scenario 1 radars plus the long-range weather radar, commonly known as NEXRAD. Scenario 3 would add the long-range aircraft surveillance radars, i.e., the Air Route Surveillance Radars (ARSRs), to the Scenario 2 radars. To each of these three scenarios, we then add the military's Ground Position Navigation (GPN) airbase radars for Scenarios 1G, 2G, and 3G. We assumed that the new multimission radar would be available in two sizes--a full-size MPAR and a scaled-down terminal MPAR (TMPAR). Furthermore, we assumed that the new radar antennas would have four sides that could be populated by one, two, three, or four phased array faces, such that the azimuthal coverage provided could be scaled from 90 degrees to 360 degrees. Radars in the 50 United States, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), and Kwajalein (Marshall Islands) were included in the study.
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Summary

As part of the NextGen Surveillance and Weather Radar Capability (NSWRC) program, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is currently developing the solution for aircraft and meteorological surveillance in the future National Airspace System (NAS). A potential solution is a multifunction phased array radar (MPAR) that would replace some or all...

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Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) runway balancing capability assessment

Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report ATC-421

Summary

Under the Terminal Flight Data Manager program, new operational improvements are envisioned at a number of large airports. One operational improvement manifests through the Airport Resource Management tool, which seeks to balance departure demand at runways. Another related operational improvement is runway balancing, which is expected to provide greater flexibility in tactical runway assignments. Both improvements are expected to reduce surface delays for departing aircraft. This report provides a study into the potential delay-reduction benefits of both capabilities at three case-study airports (DFW, LAX, and MCO). Through a series of simulation studies, it is found that the benefits associated with each operational improvement are closely linked to departure demand and imbalances in demand across filed aircraft departure procedures. So, while large delay-reduction benefits are expected at LAX--which exhibits both large demand and departure imbalances--smaller benefits are expected at DFW where departure operations are already well-balanced. Meanwhile at MCO, the operational improvements are not expected to reduce delays due to limited departure demand at the airport.
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Summary

Under the Terminal Flight Data Manager program, new operational improvements are envisioned at a number of large airports. One operational improvement manifests through the Airport Resource Management tool, which seeks to balance departure demand at runways. Another related operational improvement is runway balancing, which is expected to provide greater flexibility...

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Airport surface traffic management decision support - perspectives based on tower flight data manager prototype

Summary

This report describes accomplishments and insights gathererd during the development of decision support tools as part of the Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) program. This work was performed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory and sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The TFDM program integrated flight data, aircraft surveillance, information on weather and traffic flow constraints, and other data required to optimize airport conguration and arrival/departure management functions. The prototype has been evaluated in both human-in-the-loop simulations, and during operational tests at Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport. In parallel, the Laboratory estimated future national operational benefits for TFDM decision support functions, using analysis and performance data gathered from major airports in the US. This analysis indicated that the greatest potential operational benefits would come from decision support tools that facilitate: i) managing runway queues and sequences, ii) tactical management of flight routes and times, impacted by weather and traffic constraints, and iii) managing airport configuration changes. Evaluation of TFDM prototype decision support functions in each of these areas provided valuable insights relative to the maturity of current capabilities and research needed to close performance gaps.
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Summary

This report describes accomplishments and insights gathererd during the development of decision support tools as part of the Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM) program. This work was performed by MIT Lincoln Laboratory and sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The TFDM program integrated flight data, aircraft surveillance, information on...

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Tower Flight Data Manager benefits assessment: initial investment decision interim report

Summary

This document provides an overview of MIT Lincoln Laboratory's activities in support of the interim stage of the Initial Investment Decision benefits assessment for the Tower Flight Data Manager. It outlines the rationale for the focus areas, and the background, methodology, and scope in the focus areas of departure metering, sequence optimization, airport configuration optimization, and safety assessment. Estimates of the potential benefits enabled by TFDM deployment are presented for each of these areas for a subset of airports and conditions considered within the scope of the analyses. These benefits are monetized where possible. Recommendations for follow-on work, for example, to support future benefits assessment efforts for TFDM, are also discussed.
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Summary

This document provides an overview of MIT Lincoln Laboratory's activities in support of the interim stage of the Initial Investment Decision benefits assessment for the Tower Flight Data Manager. It outlines the rationale for the focus areas, and the background, methodology, and scope in the focus areas of departure metering...

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