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Next-generation airborne collision avoidance system

Published in:
Lincoln Laboratory Journal, Vol. 19, No. 1, 2012, pp. 17-33.

Summary

In response to a series of midair collisions involving commercial airliners, Lincoln Laboratory was directed by the Federal Aviation Administration in the 1970s to participate in the development of an onboard collision avoidance system. In its current manifestation, the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System is mandated worldwide on all large aircraft and has significantly improved the safety of air travel, but major changes to the airspace planned over the coming years will require substantial modification to the system. Recently, Lincoln Laboratory has been pioneering the development of a new approach to collision avoidance systems that completely rethinks how such systems are engineered, allowing the system to provide a higher degree of safety without interfering with normal, safe operations.
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Summary

In response to a series of midair collisions involving commercial airliners, Lincoln Laboratory was directed by the Federal Aviation Administration in the 1970s to participate in the development of an onboard collision avoidance system. In its current manifestation, the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System is mandated worldwide on all...

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On estimating mid-air collision risk

Published in:
ATIO 2010: 10th AIAA Aviation Technology Integration and Operations Conf., 13-15 September 2010.

Summary

Many aviation safety studies involve estimating near mid-air collision (NMAC) rate. In the past, it has been assumed that the probability that an NMAC leads to a mid-air collision is 0.1, but there has not yet been a comprehensive study to serve as a basis for this estimate. This paper explains how to use existing encounter models, a flight simulation framework, three-dimensional aircraft wireframe models, and surveillance data to estimate mid-air collision risk. The results show that 0.1 is an overly conservative estimate and that the true rate is likely to be an order of magnitude lower.
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Summary

Many aviation safety studies involve estimating near mid-air collision (NMAC) rate. In the past, it has been assumed that the probability that an NMAC leads to a mid-air collision is 0.1, but there has not yet been a comprehensive study to serve as a basis for this estimate. This paper...

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