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Nearfield anechoic chamber and farfield on-site antenna calibration pattern comparison of an S-band planar phased array radar

Published in:
IEEE Annual Conf. on Wireless and Microwave Technology, WAMICON, 27-28 April 2022.

Summary

The Advanced Technology Demonstrator (ATD) is an active, S-band, dual-polarization phased array radar developed for weather sensing. The ATD is an active electronically scanned array (AESA) with a 4-m aperture comprised of 4,864 individual transmit/receive (T/R) modules. The antenna was calibrated at the element, subarray, and array levels. Calibration, validation, and verification testing was completed in two main stages, first in an anechoic chamber and second after it was installed on site in its permanent location. This paper describes the procedure used to collect antenna patterns at each stage and compares three key performance metrics: beamwidth, mean-squared sidelobe level (MSSL), and integrated sidelobe level (ISL).
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Summary

The Advanced Technology Demonstrator (ATD) is an active, S-band, dual-polarization phased array radar developed for weather sensing. The ATD is an active electronically scanned array (AESA) with a 4-m aperture comprised of 4,864 individual transmit/receive (T/R) modules. The antenna was calibrated at the element, subarray, and array levels. Calibration, validation...

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Correlated Bayesian model of aircraft encounters in the terminal area given a straight takeoff or landing

Published in:
Aerospace, Vol. 9, No.2, 12 March 2022.

Summary

The integration of new airspace entrants into terminal operations requires design and evaluation of Detect and Avoid systems that prevent loss of well clear from and collision with other aircraft. Prior to standardization or deployment, an analysis of the safety performance of those systems is required. This type of analysis has typically been conducted by Monte Carlo simulation with synthetic, statistically representative encounters between aircraft drawn from an appropriate encounter model. While existing encounter models include terminal airspace classes, none explicitly represents the structure expected while engaged in terminal operations, e.g., aircraft in a traffic pattern. The work described herein is an initial model of such operations where an aircraft landing or taking off via a straight trajectory encounters another aircraft landing or taking off, or transiting by any means. The model shares the Bayesian network foundation of other Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory encounter models but tailors those networks to address structured terminal operations, i.e., correlations between trajectories and the airfield and each other. This initial model release is intended to elicit feedback from the standards-writing community.
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Summary

The integration of new airspace entrants into terminal operations requires design and evaluation of Detect and Avoid systems that prevent loss of well clear from and collision with other aircraft. Prior to standardization or deployment, an analysis of the safety performance of those systems is required. This type of analysis...

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Effect of a wet spherical radome on the reflected power for an S-band planar phased array radar antenna

Published in:
2021 Antenna Measurement Techniques Association Symp., AMTA, 24-29 October 2021.

Summary

An active S-band dual-polarized multifunction phased array radar (MPAR), the Advanced Technology Demonstrator (ATD), has recently been developed for weather sensing and aircraft surveillance. The ATD is an active electronically scanned array (AESA) with 4864 transmit/receive (T/R) modules and was installed in a spherical radome. Simulations and a novel phased array measurement technique have been explored to assess the impact of high reflectivity from a wet radome during rain that can potentially induce voltages exceeding the transmit amplifier breakdown voltage. The measurement technique uses array elements radiating one at a time to illuminate the radome, and uses superposition to quantify the received signal power in a reference antenna on the face of the array. It is shown that when the radome surface is wet and highly reflective, certain electronic steering angles sum to a large reflected signal focused on the array face. This measurement technique can be used prior to high-power phased array radar operation to monitor the magnitude of reflections and help avoid element transmit amplifier failures.
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Summary

An active S-band dual-polarized multifunction phased array radar (MPAR), the Advanced Technology Demonstrator (ATD), has recently been developed for weather sensing and aircraft surveillance. The ATD is an active electronically scanned array (AESA) with 4864 transmit/receive (T/R) modules and was installed in a spherical radome. Simulations and a novel phased...

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Benchmarking the processing of aircraft tracks with triples mode and self-scheduling

Published in:
2021 IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Conf., HPEC, 20-24 September 2021.

Summary

As unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) continue to integrate into the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS), there is a need to quantify the risk of airborne collisions between unmanned and manned aircraft to support regulation and standards development. Developing and certifying collision avoidance systems often rely on the extensive use of Monte Carlo collision risk analysis simulations using probabilistic models of aircraft flight. To train these models, high performance computing resources are required. We've prototyped a high performance computing workflow designed and deployed on the Lincoln Laboratory Supercomputing Center to process billions of observations of aircraft. However, the prototype has various computational and storage bottlenecks that limited rapid or more comprehensive analyses and models. In response, we've developed a novel workflow to take advantage of various job launch and task distribution technologies to improve performance. The workflow was benchmarked using two datasets of observations of aircraft, including a new dataset focused on the environment around aerodromes. Optimizing how the workflow was parallelized drastically reduced the execution time from weeks to days.
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Summary

As unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) continue to integrate into the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS), there is a need to quantify the risk of airborne collisions between unmanned and manned aircraft to support regulation and standards development. Developing and certifying collision avoidance systems often rely on the extensive use of...

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Benefits of realist ontologies to systems engineering

Published in:
Joint Ontology Workshops 2021 Episode VII: The Bolzano Summer of Knowledge, JOWO 2021, 11-18 September 2021.

Summary

Applied ontologies have been used more and more frequently to enhance systems engineering. In this paper, we argue that adopting principles of ontological realism can increase the benefits that ontologies have already been shown to provide to the systems engineering process. Moreover, adopting Basic Formal Ontology (BFO), an ISO standard for top-level ontologies from which more domain specific ontologies are constructed, can lead to benefits in four distinct areas of systems engineering: (1) interoperability, (2) standardization, (3) testing, and (4) data exploitation. Reaping these benefits in a model-based systems engineering (MBSE) context requires utilizing an ontology's vocabulary when modeling systems and entities within those systems. If the chosen ontology abides by the principles of ontological realism, a semantic standard capable of uniting distinct domains, using BFO as a hub, can be leveraged to promote greater interoperability among systems. As interoperability and standardization increase, so does the ability to collect data during the testing and implementation of systems. These data can then be reasoned over by computational reasoners using the logical axioms within the ontology. This, in turn, generates new data that would have been impossible or too inefficient to generate without the aid of computational reasoners.
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Summary

Applied ontologies have been used more and more frequently to enhance systems engineering. In this paper, we argue that adopting principles of ontological realism can increase the benefits that ontologies have already been shown to provide to the systems engineering process. Moreover, adopting Basic Formal Ontology (BFO), an ISO standard...

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Demand and capacity modeling for advanced air mobility

Published in:
AIAA Aviation 2021 Conf., 2-6 August 2021.

Summary

Advanced Air Mobility encompasses emerging aviation technologies that transport people and cargo between local, regional, or urban locations that are currently underserved by aviation and other transportation modalities. The disruptive nature of these technologies has pushed industry, academia, and governments to devote significant investments to understand their impact on airspace risk, operational procedures, and passengers. A flexible framework was designed to assess the operational viability of these technologies and the sensitivity to a variety of assumptions. This framework is used to simulate air taxi traffic within New York City by replacing a portion of the city's taxi requests with trips taken with electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles and evaluate the sensitivity of passenger trip time to a variety of system wide assumptions. In particular, the paper focuses on the impact of the passenger capacity, landing site vehicle capacity, and fleet size. The operation density is then compared with the current air traffic to assess operation constraints that will challenge the network UAM operations.
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Summary

Advanced Air Mobility encompasses emerging aviation technologies that transport people and cargo between local, regional, or urban locations that are currently underserved by aviation and other transportation modalities. The disruptive nature of these technologies has pushed industry, academia, and governments to devote significant investments to understand their impact on airspace...

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Applicability and surrogacy of uncorrelated airspace encounter models at low altitudes

Published in:
J. Air Transport., Vol. 29, No. 3, July-September 2021, pp. 137-41.

Summary

National Airspace System (NAS) is a complex and evolving system that enables safe and efficient aviation. Advanced air mobility concepts and new airspace entrants, such as unmanned aircraft, must integrate into the NAS without degrading overall safety or efficiency. For instance, regulations, standards, and systems are required to mitigate the risk of a midair collision between aircraft. Monte Carlo simulations have been a foundational capability for decades to develop, assess, and certify aircraft conflict avoidance systems. These are often validated through human-in-the-loop experiments and flight testing. For example, an update to the Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) mandated for manned aircraft was validated in part using this approach [1]. For many aviation safety studies, manned aircraft behavior is represented using the MIT Lincoln Laboratory statistical encounter models [2–5]. The original models [2–4] were developed from 2008 to 2013 to support safety simulations for altitudes above 500 feet above ground level (AGL). However, these models were not sufficient to assess the safety of smaller unmanned aerial systems (UAS) operations below 500 feet AGL and fully support the ASTM F38 and RTCA SC-147 standards efforts. In response, newer models [5–7] with altitude floors below 500 feet AGL have been in development since 2018. Many of the models assume that aircraft behavior is uncorrelated and not dependent on air traffic services or nearby aircraft. The models were trained using observations of cooperative aircraft equipped with transponders, but data sources and assumptions vary. The newer models are organized by aircraft types of fixed-wing multi-engine, fixed-wing single engine, and rotorcraft, whereas the original models do not consider aircraft type. Our research objective was to compare the various uncorrelated models of conventional aircraft and identify how the models differ. Particularly if models of rotorcraft were sufficiently different from models of fixed-wing aircraft to require type-specific models. The scope of this work was limited to altitudes below 5000 feet AGL, the expected altitude ceiling for many new airspace entrants. The scope was also informed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) UAS Integration Office and Alliance for System Safety of UAS through Research Excellence (ASSURE). The primary contribution is guidance on which uncorrelated models to leverage when evaluating the performance of a collision avoidance system designed for low-altitude operations, such as prescribed by the ASTM F3442 detect and avoid standard for smaller UAS [8]. We also address which models can be surrogates for non-cooperative aircraft without transponders. All models and software used are publicly available under open source licenses [9].
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Summary

National Airspace System (NAS) is a complex and evolving system that enables safe and efficient aviation. Advanced air mobility concepts and new airspace entrants, such as unmanned aircraft, must integrate into the NAS without degrading overall safety or efficiency. For instance, regulations, standards, and systems are required to mitigate the...

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Towards the next generation operational meteorological radar

Summary

This article summarizes research and risk reduction that will inform acquisition decisions regarding NOAA's future national operational weather radar network. A key alternative being evaluated is polarimetric phased-array radar (PAR). Research indicates PAR can plausibly achieve fast, adaptive volumetric scanning, with associated benefits for severe-weather warning performance. We assess these benefits using storm observations and analyses, observing system simulation experiments, and real radar-data assimilation studies. Changes in the number and/or locations of radars in the future network could improve coverage at low altitude. Analysis of benefits that might be so realized indicates the possibility for additional improvement in severe weather and flash-flood warning performance, with associated reduction in casualties. Simulations are used to evaluate techniques for rapid volumetric scanning and assess data quality characteristics of PAR. Finally, we describe progress in developing methods to compensate for polarimetric variable estimate biases introduced by electronic beam-steering. A research-to-operations (R2O) strategy for the PAR alternative for the WSR-88D replacement network is presented.
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Summary

This article summarizes research and risk reduction that will inform acquisition decisions regarding NOAA's future national operational weather radar network. A key alternative being evaluated is polarimetric phased-array radar (PAR). Research indicates PAR can plausibly achieve fast, adaptive volumetric scanning, with associated benefits for severe-weather warning performance. We assess these...

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Advanced Air Mobility assessment framework: FY20 Homeland Protection and Air Traffic Control Technical Investment Program

Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report TIP-145

Summary

Advanced Air Mobility encompasses emerging aviation technologies that transport people and cargo between local, regional, or urban locations that are currently underserved by aviation and other transportation modalities. The disruptive nature of these technologies has pushed industry, academia, and governments to devote significant investments to understand their impact on airspace risk, operational procedures, and passengers. A flexible framework was designed to assess the operational viability of these technologies and the sensitivity to a variety of assumptions. This framework is used to simulate an initial AAM implementation scenario in New York City. This scenario was created by replacing a portion of NYC taxi requests with electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles. The framework was used to assess the sensitivity of this scenario to a variety of system assumption.
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Summary

Advanced Air Mobility encompasses emerging aviation technologies that transport people and cargo between local, regional, or urban locations that are currently underserved by aviation and other transportation modalities. The disruptive nature of these technologies has pushed industry, academia, and governments to devote significant investments to understand their impact on airspace...

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NASA Airspace Integration Detect and Avoid Phase 2: Safety Risk Management Simulation Plan

Published in:
MIT Lincoln Laboratory Report

Summary

RTCA has been developing Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) for Detect and Avoid (DAA) and Command and Control (C2) systems as part of Special Committee – 228 (SC-228). The Phase 1 MOPS were published in 2017 and a Phase 2 effort to revise and extend the Phase 1 MOPS is ongoing. In order for the MOPS to be fully utilized, they must be evaluated by the FAA employing the FAA's Safety Risk Management (SRM) process. In order to support the SRM process, there is a need for simulation data focused on the safety of DAA encounters. This analysis focuses on gathering information to validate the use of SC-228 MOPS compliant DAA and C2 systems to enable routine UAS operations in the National Airspace System (NAS) without a chase aircraft or visual observers. The scope of this effort aligns with the SC-228 Terms of Reference (TOR) that can be generally characterized as UAS flying IFR and receiving ATC separation services. This analysis evaluates the system safety in mixed classes B, C, D, E, and G airspaces, and includes IFR, VFR, Cooperative, and Non-Cooperative aircraft. This analysis plan describes the four analysis tasks (Section 2) and the simulation plan (Section 3) that will be executed to accomplish these tasks. It is expected that this analysis plan will be extended to include the analysis results and become the final deliverable.
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Summary

RTCA has been developing Minimum Operational Performance Standards (MOPS) for Detect and Avoid (DAA) and Command and Control (C2) systems as part of Special Committee – 228 (SC-228). The Phase 1 MOPS were published in 2017 and a Phase 2 effort to revise and extend the Phase 1 MOPS is...

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