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Airport Wind Observations Architectural Analysis(2.4 MB)

Date:
July 10, 2018
Published in:
Project Report ATC-443, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Type:
Project Report
Topic:

Summary

Airport wind information is critical for ensuring safe aircraft operations and for managing runway configurations. Airports across the National Airspace System (NAS) are served by a wide variety of wind sensing systems that have been deployed over many decades. This analysis presents a survey of existing systems and user requirements, identifies potential shortfalls, and offers recommendations for improvements to support the long-term goals of the FAA NextGen system.
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Summary

Airport wind information is critical for ensuring safe aircraft operations and for managing runway configurations. Airports across the National Airspace System (NAS) are served by a wide variety of wind sensing systems that have been deployed over many decades. This analysis presents a survey of existing systems and user requirements,...
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Preliminary UAS Weather Research Roadmap(1.51 MB)

Date:
November 3, 2017
Published in:
Project Report ATC-438, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Type:
Project Report
Topic:

Summary

A companion Lincoln Laboratory report (ATC-437, “Preliminary Weather Information Gaps for UAS Operations”) identified initial gaps in the ability of current weather products to meet the needs of UAS operations. Building off of that work, this report summarizes the development of a proposed initial roadmap for research to fill the gaps that were identified.
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Summary

A companion Lincoln Laboratory report (ATC-437, “Preliminary Weather Information Gaps for UAS Operations”) identified initial gaps in the ability of current weather products to meet the needs of UAS operations. Building off of that work, this report summarizes the development of a proposed initial roadmap for research to fill the...
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Preliminary Weather Information Gap Analysis for UAS Operations(4.88 MB)

Date:
November 2, 2017
Published in:
Project Report ATC-437, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Type:
Project Report
Topic:

Summary

Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operations in the National Airspace System (NAS) are rapidly increasing. For example, 2017 has seen dramatically increased low altitude UAS usage for disaster relief and by first responders. The ability to carry out these operations, however, can be strongly impacted by adverse weather conditions. This report documents a preliminary quick-look identification and assessment of gaps in current weather decision support for UAS operations.
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Summary

Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operations in the National Airspace System (NAS) are rapidly increasing. For example, 2017 has seen dramatically increased low altitude UAS usage for disaster relief and by first responders. The ability to carry out these operations, however, can be strongly impacted by adverse weather conditions. This report...
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Preliminary weather information gap analysis for UAS operations, revision 1

Date:
November 2, 2017
Published in:
Project Report ATC-437-REV-1, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Type:
Project Report
Topic:

Summary

Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operations in the National Airspace System (NAS) are rapidly increasing. For example, 2017 has seen dramatically increased low altitude UAS usage for disaster relief and by first responders. The ability to carry out these operations, however, can be strongly impacted by adverse weather conditions. This report documents a preliminary quick-look identification and assessment of gaps in current weather decision support for UAS operations. An initial set of surveys and interviews with UAS operators identified 12 major gaps. These gaps were then prioritized based on the importance of the weather phenomena to UAS operations and the current availability of adequate weather information to UAS operators. Low altitude UAS operations are of particular concern. The lack of observations of ceiling, visibility, and winds near most low altitude UAS operational locations causes the validation of numerical weather forecasts of weather conditions for those locations to be the highest priority. Hazardous weather alerting for convective activity and strong surface winds are a major concern for UAS operations that could be addressed in part by access to existing FAA real time conventional aircraft weather products.
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Summary

Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) operations in the National Airspace System (NAS) are rapidly increasing. For example, 2017 has seen dramatically increased low altitude UAS usage for disaster relief and by first responders. The ability to carry out these operations, however, can be strongly impacted by adverse weather conditions. This report...
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An applications architecture to support FAA wake turbulence mitigation systems development and deployment

Date:
October 9, 2013
Published in:
Project Report ATC-412, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Type:
Project Report
Topic:

Summary

The Wake Turbulence Program within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering a number of new procedures for safely reducing the wake vortex spacing requirements between aircraft. One category of procedures investigates wind-dependent procedures, i.e., procedures that can be applied when wind conditions are expected to transport the wake from a lead aircraft away from the path of a trailing aircraft. MIT Lincoln Laboratory developed a Wind Forecast Algorithm (WFA) to determine when conditions allow these wind-dependent procedures to be available to traffic managers. The baseline WFA is used within the Wake Turbulence Mitigation for Departures (WTMD) system, which establishes spacing procedures for departures on closely spaced parallel runways. A number of new procedures are also under consideration, each of which will require a modification and/or expansion of the baseline WFA. With time, the volume and number of disparate data sources used in the development process has steadily increased to the point where the existing development environment has become cumbersome and inadequate. As a result, through support of the FAA Wake Turbulence Program, MIT Lincoln Laboratory has undergone a complete overhaul of the computer processing and storage architecture used for WFA development. This will serve two main purposes. First, it will greatly expedite the development process, which is highly iterative and requires increasingly large volumes of data. Second, an updated architecture design will allow for an expeditious transition of developmental systems into the operational environment within FAA's NextGen framework. A key focus of this report describes how the new design is sufficiently compatible and flexible to serve within this anticipated FAA framework. The unified application architecture and infrastructure being designed and implemented will support continuing development, playback requirements, and real-time deployments. This architecture is composed of several application components including a wind data extract-transform-loaf (ETL) application, the WFA algorithm, and a display interface to accommodate both the development process and for potential use within the FAA operational environment. The Wind-ETL application component acquires, processes, and archives wind data from a variety of NOAA-based hourly forecasts and airport-vicinity weather measurement equipment. This wind data is ingested by the WFA, which computes and disseminates its availability predictions to the WTMx Display application component, which archives these predictions and also allows for presentation to the airport tower supervisor via the WTMx display user interface decision support tool. This architecture is designed to be flexible to accepting new weather data feeds, scalable to the high bandwidth and processing and storage capabilities required, provide sufficient automation and self-healing capabilities, and portable to allow its introduction into alternate facility sites and its integration into other FAA software systems.
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Summary

The Wake Turbulence Program within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is considering a number of new procedures for safely reducing the wake vortex spacing requirements between aircraft. One category of procedures investigates wind-dependent procedures, i.e., procedures that can be applied when wind conditions are expected to transport the wake from...
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Roadmap for weather integration into Traffic Flow Management Modernization (TFM-M)

Date:
July 24, 2009
Published in:
Project Report ATC-347, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Type:
Project Report

Summary

This report provides recommendations for aligning new Collaborative Air Traffic Management Technologies (CATM-T) with evolving aviation weather products to improve NAS efficiency during adverse (especially severe) weather conditions. Key gaps identified include 1. Improving or developing pilot convective storm avoidance models as well as models for route blockage and capacity in severe weather is necessary for automated congestion prediction and resolution. 2. Forecasts need to characterize uncertainty that can be used by CATM tools and, explicitly forecast key parameters needed for translation of weather products to capacity impacts. 3. Time based flow management will require substantial progress in both the translation modeling and in predicting appropriate storm avoidance trajectories. Near term efforts should focus on integration of the Traffic Management Advisor (TMA) with contemporary severe weather products such as the Corridor Integrated Weather System (CIWS). 4. Human factors studies on product design to improve individual decision making, improved collaborative decision making in "difficult" situations, and the use of probabilistic products are also essential. 5. Studies need to be carried out to determine how well en route and terminal capacity currently is being utilized during adverse weather events so as to identify the highest priority areas for integrated weather-CATM system development.
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Summary

This report provides recommendations for aligning new Collaborative Air Traffic Management Technologies (CATM-T) with evolving aviation weather products to improve NAS efficiency during adverse (especially severe) weather conditions. Key gaps identified include 1. Improving or developing pilot convective storm avoidance models as well as models for route blockage and capacity...
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SFO marine stratus forecast system documentation

Date:
October 17, 2006
Published in:
Project Report ATC-319, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Type:
Project Report
Topic:

Summary

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) experiences frequent low ceiling conditions during the summer season due to marine stratus clouds. Stratus in the approach zone prevents dual approaches to the airportαs closely spaced parallel runways, effectively reducing arrival capacity by half. The stratus typically behaves on a daily cycle, with dissipation occurring during the hours following sunrise. Often the low ceiling conditions persist throughout the morning hours and interfere with the high rate of air traffic scheduled into SFO from mid-morning to early afternoon. Air traffic managers require accurate forecasts of clearing time to efficiently administer Ground Delay Programs (GDPs) to match the rate of arriving aircraft with expected capacity. The San Francisco Marine Stratus Forecast System was developed as a tool for anticipating the time of stratus clearing. The system relies on field-deployed sensors as well as routinely available regional surface observations and satellite data from the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-West). Data are collected, processed, and input to a suite of forecast models to predict the time that the approach zone will be sufficiently clear to perform dual approaches. Data observations and model forecasts are delivered to users on an interactive display accessible via the Internet. The system prototype was developed under the sponsorship of the FAA Aviation Weather Research Program (AWRP). MIT Lincoln Laboratory served as technical lead for the project, in collaboration with San Jose State University, the University of Quebec at Montreal, and the Center Weather Service Unit (CWSU) at the Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC). The National Weather Service (NWS), under the direction of the NWS Forecast Office in Monterey, assumed responsibility for operation and maintenance of the system following technical transfer in 2004. This document was compiled as a resource to support continuing system operation and maintenance.
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Summary

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) experiences frequent low ceiling conditions during the summer season due to marine stratus clouds. Stratus in the approach zone prevents dual approaches to the airportαs closely spaced parallel runways, effectively reducing arrival capacity by half. The stratus typically behaves on a daily cycle, with dissipation...
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The Marine Stratus Initiative at San Francisco International Airport

Author:
Date:
June 25, 1996
Published in:
Project Report ATC-252, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Type:
Project Report
Topic:

Summary

San Francisco International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the United States and one of the highest delay airports in terms of total aircraft delay hours and number of imposed air traffic delay programs. As with most airports, weather is the primary cause of aircraft delay. In particular, the local airspace is prone to regular occurrences of low cloud ceiling conditions due to intrusion of marine air from the eastern Pacific Ocean from May through September. Typically, this layer of stratus clouds forms in the San Francisco Bay area overnight and dissipates during the middle to late morning. The timing of the stratus cloud dissipation is such that it frequently poses a threat to the morning arrival push of air traffic into San Francisco. Weather forecasters at the Central Weather Service Unit (CWSU) at the Oakland AirRoute Traffic Control Center are responsible for providing a forecast whether or not the cloudiness will impact morning traffic operations. This information is used for decision making by the Traffic Management Unit at Oakland Center in order to optimally match arriving traffic demand to available airport capacity. As part of the FAA's Integrated Terminal Weather System, the Weather Sensing Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory has begun an effort entitled the "Marine Stratus Initiative." Its objective is to provide improved weather information and forecast guidance to the Oakland CWSU, which is responsible for providing weather forecasts to air traffic managers. During 1995, the main focus of the project was the design and implementation of a data acquisition, communication, and display infrastructure that provides forecasters with new sources of weather data and information. These initial capabilities were tested during an operational demonstration in August and September. As the project continues, the intent is to improve these new data sources and develop an automated or semi-automated algorithm that will process raw information to provide weather forecasters with numerical guidance to assist them in the forecast process. A description of airport operations at San Francisco and the impact of marine stratus are presented. An explanation is given of the marine stratus phenomenology and the primary factors contributing to cloud dissipation. This conceptual model of the dissipation process is used to define system requirements. A description of the hardware, communications, and display subsystems is provided. An overview of the 1995 demonstration, including user comments, is presented, as well as future plans for meeting the longer-term objectives of the project.
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Summary

San Francisco International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the United States and one of the highest delay airports in terms of total aircraft delay hours and number of imposed air traffic delay programs. As with most airports, weather is the primary cause of aircraft delay. In particular,...
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An automated method for low level wind shear alert system (LLWAS) data quality analysis

Author:
Date:
May 26, 1994
Published in:
Project Report ATC-207, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Type:
Project Report
Topic:

Summary

The Low Level Windshear Alert System (LLWAS) is an anemometer-based surface network used for detection of hazardous wind shear and acquisition of operational wind information in the airport terminal area. The quality of wind data provided by the LLWAS anemometers is important for the proper performance of the LLWAS wind shear detection algorithms. This report describes the development of an automated method for anemometer data quality (DQA). This method identifies potential data quality problems through comparison of wind data from each sensor within a network to the mean wind speed and direction of the entire network. The design approach and implementation are described, and results from testing using data from the demonstration Phase III LLWAS network in Orlando, FL are reported. Potential improvements to the automated DQA algorithm are presented based on experience gained during analysis of the Orlando data. These recommended improvements are provided to assist future development and refinement of the DQA methodology to be performed by the FAA Technical Center.
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Summary

The Low Level Windshear Alert System (LLWAS) is an anemometer-based surface network used for detection of hazardous wind shear and acquisition of operational wind information in the airport terminal area. The quality of wind data provided by the LLWAS anemometers is important for the proper performance of the LLWAS wind...
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Microburst observability and frequency during 1988 in Denver, CO

Date:
May 14, 1990
Published in:
Project Report ATC-170, MIT Lincoln Laboratory
Type:
Project Report
Topic:

Summary

The observability of microbursts with single-Doppler radar is investigated through comparison of radar data and surface weather sensor data. The data were collected during 1988 in Denver, CO as part of the FAA Terminal Doppler Weather Radar measurement program. Radar data were collected by both and S-band and C-band radar, while surface data were taken from a mesoscale network of 42 weather sensors in the vicinity of Denver's Stapleton International Airport. Results are compared with previous similar studies of observability using data from 1987 in Denver, and 1986 in Huntsville, AL. A total of 184 microbursts impacting the surface mesonet were identified. For those microbursts for which both radar and surface data were available, 97% were observable by single-Doppler radar. This compares to 94% observability during 1987 in Denver, and 98% during 1986 in Huntsville. Two strong microbursts (at lease 20 m/s differential velocity) were unobservable by radar throughout their lifetime: one due to low signal-to-noise ratio, and the other due initially to an asymmetric outflow with low signal-to-noise ratio also a contributing factor. Two other microbursts, with differential velocities from 10-19 m/s, were unobservable by radar: one due to shallow outflow with a depth limited to a height below that of the radar beam, and one due to asymmetric outflow oriented unfavorably with respect to the radar viewing angle. Consistent with previous observations, microburst occurrence was most frequent during June and July, when 94 microbursts were identified on 20 days. An anomalously high frequency was also seen in April, although the strength of these events was relatively modest. As expected, the diurnal distribution shows the late afternoon to be the most favorable time for microburst development; more than half of all events reached their maximum strength between the hours of 2-5 p.m. local time.
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Summary

The observability of microbursts with single-Doppler radar is investigated through comparison of radar data and surface weather sensor data. The data were collected during 1988 in Denver, CO as part of the FAA Terminal Doppler Weather Radar measurement program. Radar data were collected by both and S-band and C-band radar,...
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