Wind information requirements for NextGen operations, phase 5 report
August 22, 2017
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.