Principal Accomplishments

 The Offshore Precipitation Capability provides a real-time depiction of weather beyond the range of radars, filling in key coverage gaps in the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and other regions. The technology is undergoing laboratory performance evaluation prior to operational field tests.

  • System studies and antenna panel development continued for the Multifunction Phased Array Radar (MPAR). The Laboratory constructed a mobile 10-panel prototype array that will be used to refine system requirements and to quantify dual-polarization performance for weather observations. Results from this analysis will be used to refine the design of a full-scale 76-panel advanced technology demonstrator array. The Laboratory plans to build this array in partnership with the FAA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
  • An effort was initiated to build a prototype Small Airport Secondary Surveillance sensor that has the potential to provide low-cost terminal-area surveillance. A prototype aperture has been developed to demonstrate real-time surveillance performance.
  • Algorithm improvements continued for the Offshore Precipitation Capability (OPC), which uses lightning, satellite, and meteorological model data to generate a global radar-like view of convective weather beyond the coverage of radars. In the upcoming year, NOAA and the FAA will assess the quality and operational suitability of OPC information.
  • Lincoln Laboratory is playing a key role in developing the NextGen Airborne Collision Avoidance System X (ACAS X), which will support new flight procedures and aircraft classes. Using the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Ikhana aircraft, a flight test conducted by the Laboratory, FAA, and NASA successfully demonstrated an ACAS X variant for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Standards development for ACAS X has been initiated, and plans to conduct a full system test with the FAA are under way.
  • Standards and algorithms are being developed for UAS sense-and-avoid (SAA) capabilities for the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, and FAA. The Laboratory worked with the SAA Science and Research Panel to publish a "well clear" separation standard for UAS.
  • Analyses are being conducted to guide the FAA on wind information needs for a range of NextGen applications, including four-dimensional trajectory-based operations and interval management procedures. These analyses are guiding the establishment of performance requirements and standards for enabling concepts of operation, technologies, and information sources.
  • Operational improvements are being developed to reduce fuel burn and to mitigate the environmental impacts of aviation. For airport surface operations, the Laboratory has developed and assessed decision support tools that reduce taxiway congestion and efficiently balance queues of aircraft at departure runways. Methods to save fuel and reduce emissions, including modified procedures to optimize the cruise altitude and speed of aircraft and to delay their deceleration as they approach the runway for landing, are being explored with a range of stakeholders.



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