In the control tower simulation facility, an Air Traffic Control Systems staff member uses integrated electronic flight data and surveillance systems to direct an aircraft to taxi toward the runway.

Air Traffic Control Systems

The safe and efficient flow of aircraft in today's skies depends on a suite of weather sensing and traffic management technologies. Our group aims to improve air transportation by developing sensors, weather tracking and forecasting systems, and decision support automation that assists pilots and air traffic controllers in routing aircraft out of harm's way and maintaining smooth traffic patterns. To ensure user acceptance and the effectiveness of our technologies, we rely on extensive analysis and field evaluations and draw upon diverse areas of expertise, including signal processing, meteorology, software engineering, machine learning, human factors, and more. The systems our researchers have developed currently operate nationwide to minimize weather-related delays and protect aircraft against accidents. In addition to air traffic management, we are conducting initiatives in transportation logistics, the reduction of aircraft noise and environmental impacts, and cyber-secure information systems.

Featured Projects

A graphic showing radar-like storm coverage over a Google map image of land, and red/yellow/green zones of predicated tornado path..
 We are developing deep learning  models  to analyze tornadic precursors in order to enhance real-time tornado prediction.   
A large KC-135R tanker aircraft refuels an F-15 Eagle aircraft while they in mid air.
artificial intelligence
Our model optimizes the scheduling of aerial refueling missions, saving fuel and costs for the Department of Defense.
The LASSOS display screen highlights the laser strike event in live sensor imagery on the left and generates a 3D model of the laser streak in Google Earth, right.
optical systems
A system that detects laser beams being shone into the sky and alerts police of their source can help protect pilots and aircraft.
ACAS-X alerts pilots to nearby traffic and issues actions to avoid collisions with other aircraft.
collision avoidance
A next-generation collision avoidance system will help pilots and unmanned aircraft safely navigate the airspace.
A 3D illustration of a pilot cockpit.

Foundational AI Concepts

Our group applies artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) techniques to improve air traffic safety and collision avoidance systems. The video linked below provides an overview of how AI/ML capabilities are incorporated into operational workflows and describes several applications of this technology.