This paper aims to show some major issues regarding the integration of future ground-based ATM decision support systems (The Air Traffic Management Concept) and how these systems will improve the human factor in the air traffic system. If present airspace procedures continue as it is, escalating traffic demands are presumed to compromise many things. Among these are on-time performance, security, and safety. Dealing with these escalating airspace aptitude prerequisites would necessitate considerable adjustment and enhancement to current-day procedures.
One attempt in solving this problem is to give airlines more liberty in doing their own schedules and selections of traffic routes while still continuing to disperse tasks for partition and arrival planning to the ATSP. ATSP stands for Air Traffic Service Providers. Air Traffic Control-oriented tactics centers on airspace reorganization and development or improving of tools for air traffic managers and controllers which in turn, would enable them to handle air traffic more carefully and effectively.
In the Air Traffic Management segment of the Terminal Area Productivity program, they were working on the incorporation of future ground-based ATM decision support systems with that of FMS (Flight Management System) furnished aircraft contained in the terminal district, the researches and illustrations centered on amplifying airport capacity. They do this by making use of the CTAS or Center TRACON Automation System for producing effective trajectories. Data connect for communicating the said trajectories into the aircraft and Flight Management System furnished aircraft for flying them accurately (The Boeing Company, 2001).
In this regard major airports which are plagued by the difficulties of aircraft arrival rushes should be studied. The objective was to present a safe, highly competent flow of traffic which would begin from en route into TRACON airspace which dependably transports aircraft to the runway entry, while preserving as much flight crew suppleness and authorities as sensible. Triumphant planning and implementation of an effective arrival flow necessitates a meticulous knowledge of all aircraft and operators. Knowledge on traffic managements as well as on spacing limitations is also needed.
It should also include synchronization among controllers, flight crews, as well as traffic administration. The plan for future ground-based ATM decision support systems could be imagined as a human-centered system on which the controllers as well as the pilots would employ processes, flight management mechanization as well as evaluation support tools to aggressively supervise traffic arrival. It could be seen that they aim for a future air traffic system which are run and supervised by the ATSP and they anticipate this to be ready by 2010. ATSP stands for Air Traffic Service Providers (NASA Ames Research Center, 2002).
. The operational theory for attaining effectiveness developments over current procedures is to map an effective arrival stream earlier than necessary and then implement the arrival plan as accurately as could be. They also presented a “multi-sector arrival planner” Air Traffic Control arranges to link the breach among traffic administrators, dispatchers as well as the sector controllers. The planner’s duties include producing the most effective schedule and arrangement for all incoming aircraft and conflict-free flight routes which would always be able to meet the schedules.
The planner organizes the engendered flight routes. The sector controllers concerns would then on use a graphical coordination apparatus. After analyzing the recommended flight path, the sector controllers delivers fitting authorizations to the flight crews. The flight crews would then pursue the cleared path accurately applying their flight management mechanization. Sector controllers are in charge in preserving division and modifying the arrival plan to new situations. Automation and processes are planned in order to aid with all the above mentioned tasks (Advanced Air Transportation Technologies, 1999).
The Terminal Area Productivity concept is more calculated than the current system but the controllers are vigorously engaged with everything in the procedure of developing and implementing a traffic flow plan which would be used for arrival rush. Although it drastically modifies the tasks of the stakeholders it does not alter their accountabilities. The first flight deck oriented recreation revealed that data link procedure in the fatal region was adequate and advantageous for the flight crews.
Usually crews favor a Boeing 777 which decreases heads-down time on the arena. They could productively use the sides flight management purpose LNAV to the concluding method fix. A VSD model was launched to aid in using Flight Management System automation nearer to the ground. This was meted with high markings by the flightcrews. Vital workload or operation disparities cannot be found among situations with and without the Vertical Situation Display or VSD (The Boeing Company, 2001). A flight reproduction at NASA Langley Research Center yielded a promising result.
It showed that miscalculations on arrival time at the closing approach fix could be considerably lessened. This could be done by flying TRACON trajectories with Flight Management System supervision as compared with heading vectors. The preliminary illustration of CTAS/FMS procedures with controllers showed the promise for augmenting the effectiveness of arrival streams by using the CTAS tools for planning and supervising. The devised controller interface with the mechanization and the data link was tolerable. However, it could still make use of further enhancements.
There are a number of drawbacks which had been mentioned here. Among the said drawbacks are too much information in the data block, an inept and complex course trial planning interface as well as the three button mouse. The operational concept however, obtained good feedbacks and the controllers were eager for the promise it shows. The Advanced Air Transportation Technology is a branch of NASA’s ASC program. ASC stands for Aviation System Capacity. Its goal is to better the overall operation of NAS (National Airspace System).
In so as to attain this goal AATT is building up decision support technologies and processes to help National Airspace System stakeholders. The vision of the Advanced Air Transportation Technology Project concerning far-term National Airspace System procedures is represented in the Distributive Air Ground Traffic Management concept (Advanced Air Transportation Technologies, 1999). Distributed Air Ground Traffic Management is aiming for a free-flight environment on which flight crews would be able to take more part on decision making processes.
Rather than merely implementing controller directions, the crews would have more liberty in asking for and choosing flight routes. Developed on-board automation for variance detection and resolve would affect the pilot’s behavior, hence influencing controller’s attitude and placing more conditions on ground automation and information sharing. The Distributed Air Ground concepts cover an assortment of probable means to handle arrivals varying from continuous free-flight to fully ground-controlled. There are two extremes in the process.
The first is the free-flight to the threshold. The second is Ground (ATSP) Controlled Arrival. The free-flight to the threshold entails that the flight deck in charge for route planning and division from the aircraft all the way through the arrival. The aircraft turns up at the Center in free flight. It is accountable for extricating itself from other traffic. Traffic flow management restraints for going into the terminal region are made accessible to the flight crew. The flight crews in turn modify their terminal arrival plan fittingly.
Upon drawing near the TRACON airspace, the flight crews pick the aircraft which they desire to track to the threshold and choose the appropriate assimilating and spacing boundaries then they would go after the lead aircraft to the runway. Ground (ATSP) controlled arrival is another extreme in that this is very near to the concept illustrated on the earlier TAP research. Upon coming in the terminal airspace free flight is terminated for the incoming traffic. Ground-based traffic managers are then responsible for two things.
Their responsibility ranges from making a schedule and arrival trajectories to communicating them to the aircrafts. The aircraft could downlink a certain flight path demand that the Air Traffic Service Providers may or may not agree into. Accountability for division and route planning keeps on the ground all over the course of the arrival stage. The flight crew obtains more tactical Flight Management System and spacing authorizations than in today’s tactical settings (NASA Ames Research Center, 2002). Free flight to the threshold would necessitate added aircraft equipment.
This may involve RTA and CDTI. Conflict detection and resolution algorithm could also be included. RTA stands for Required Time of Arrival while CDTI stands for Cockpit Display of Traffic Information. Ground controlled arrivals are a little different. They do not make use of the aircraft abilities in the most effective conduct. Aside from that they put the whole flow supervision problems on the controller. The future air traffic system would direct arrivals in such a way that it would be lying between the boundaries of the two extremes mentioned earlier.
This opens the possibility of moving from ground-controlled into a free-flight (NASA Ames Research Center, 2002). Experiments and operational performances would illustrate which concept seems to be most suitable. The amount of free-flight against Air Traffic Control could be dependent on the traffic circumstances, facility performances, aircraft equipments, and airline inclinations. Those who are in charge sees the need for the air traffic system to be devised to have room for all potential forms operation between the extremes discussed in this paper.
Thus, all enabling technologies ought to be enhanced, incorporated and assessed, including the following: a. Cockpit Display of Traffic Information with airborne conflict detection b. FMS with Required Time of Arrival capacities. c. On-board integration and spacing apparatus d. ADS-B and CPDLC data link communication e. Traffic Management advisory apparatus f. Ground-based conflict detection and resolution g. Ground based tools for trajectory generation with meet time constraints (NASA Ames Research Center, 2003) Most of the above mentioned equipments are already obtainable in remote examination models.
Those in charge are presently in the course of assimilating them at NASA Ames Research Center to generate a model environment that permits examining these concerns. They are also expanding an arrival concept that supplies the elasticity to alter the quantity of self division to traffic flow management restraints and other necessities. They also originally mean to maintain the free-flight airspace apart from the ground-controlled airspace. The border can be denoted as a curve about the meter fix or the adjacent arrival gate or a plain elevation floor. This can be attuned for traffic intricacy.
Very low traffic circumstances could be different. In such cases the free flight region could be as near to the airport as the gauge fix. The arrival setting starts with the aircraft which would arrive at the Center in what they call to be a “free maneuvering mode”. The flight crews are in charge for division, traffic management restraints at the metering fix are then on relayed from the planner. This is done by using the CTAS Traffic Management Advisor to the flight level, the flight crew on the other hand, is the one anticipated to prepare their flight route to land at the metering fix near the probable time.
That is, if scheduling is necessary. The flight crew would then be informed as to where the free flight periphery presently stops. The flight crew would also be informed when to confirm things with the controller (NASA Ames Research center, 2002). The arrival planner continues appraising the circumstances by means of Descent Advisor apparatus and attempts to produce an arrival arrangement for the ground-controlled airspace that the arrival planner would convey to the sector controllers.
Once the sector controller obtains the test in from the free maneuvering aircraft, he would then on call off free flight and release the arrival authorization to the aircraft. This would be founded on aircraft choice and arrival plan in that they are likely to fly the arrival authorization to the meter fix accurately. The Center TRACON Automation System apparatus help the TRACON controllers in shaping appropriate aircraft pairs for getting in-trail spacing authorizations. Division in charge hangs about with the organizer all the way through the TRACON (NASA Ames Research center, 2002).
This setting permits us to examine most facets of the appropriate Distributive Air Ground Traffic Management concept fundamentals and constructs on the preceding arrival research especially since current deliberations with controllers and pilots was met with positive feedbacks. Among the probable advantages of Distributive Air Ground Traffic Management are: • Amplified user effectiveness/flexibility. DAG-TM presents users paramount prospect to self-optimize their ventures within the vigorous restraints of the Air Traffic Management System. • Amplified system capabilities.
Allocation of division accountability to properly furnished aircraft and Air Traffic Service Providers-based DSTs could possibly lessen controller workload, thus permitting the Air Traffic Service Providers to control more traffic. • Amplified system safety because of an important increase in situational understanding and allocation of workload. • Allocation of the expenditures for National Air Space innovation between users and the Air Traffic Service Providers. • Lessened user reliance upon Air Traffic Service Providers assistances and a ground-based infrastructure.
This could also intensify global interoperability (Advanced Air Transportation Technologies, 1999). As could be seen the integration of future ground-based ATM decision support systems is very promising. These new technology would indeed be helpful in aiding to augment the overstrained air traffic control systems. This new technology let aircrafts operate safely about traffic and airspace perils (i. e. weather), while still going in accordance with the traffic flow restraints delivered by ground-based controllers (Advanced Air Transportation Technologies, 1999).
To try this particular concept, they asked pilots and air traffic controllers to coordinate with each other along with the NASA researchers for a combined simulation. The simulation utilized air traffic control and deck laboratories. “This joint simulation tested our technology in an almost real-world environment,” stated project manager Mike Landis. “More than 20 pilots sat at computer workstations ‘flying’ simulated aircraft into a mock-up of the Dallas/Fort Worth airspace.
Pilots also flew one of NASA’s high-fidelity, full- motion flight simulators in the joint experiment. The air traffic controllers were able to see all of these aircraft on displays, and the pilots used an autonomous flight management system to plan their own routes and safely and seamlessly fit into the traffic flow. Controllers were able to watch their progress on simulated air traffic control monitors” (Dino, 2004). The airborne segment of the mock-up employed promising technologies which offered real-time air traffic and risk information.
It also examined all aircrafts and airspace peril in the surrounding area. Complicated cockpit technology warned the pilots to any sign of conflicts. It also alerts the pilots into how to stop more difficulties when maneuvering. Solutions were offered mechanically or with the use of manual flight route planning apparatus. This is a visual illustration of the DAG-TM concept. “On the ground, air traffic controllers used new computer software to work the mix of autonomous and conventional air traffic.
NASA researchers developed experimental controller workstations for the joint simulation, integrating custom display enhancements with special planning, traffic flow management, and pilot-controller communication technologies” (Dino, 2004). Special software was used to aid in running the traffic flow. This special software was also used to aid the aircrafts which were not furnished with the self-sufficient flight management system, in this regard air traffic control automation observed every aircrafts. They are also responsible for cautioning the controller regarding possible conflicts.
These conflicts could be found amid the autonomous and managed traffic. Researchers also examined the way the pilots and air traffic controllers coped with this new invention. “Researchers measured how hard the pilots and controllers were working,” said Parimal Kopardekar, human factors and operations sub-project manager. “It’s important that they find this job relatively easy to do, even as traffic levels go up. We believe the computer automation technology will make a big difference” (Dino, 2004). As could be seen the future ground-based ATM decision support systems is very promising.
It is of great help for managing air traffic. This method could consent for the effective planning of flights with the use of the most effective paths and flexibility in flight processes. Little by little, as air carriers furnish aircrafts with new technologies, they could effortlessly incorporate them into the system and harvest instant advantages. “As air travel rebounds in the coming years, additional traffic will tax the air traffic control system beyond its current capability,” said Mark Ballin, aircraft systems and operations sub-project manager.
“NASA is working to develop technologies to transform the way air traffic is managed” (Dino, 2004). A definition for DAG-TM was organized by a multi-disciplinary squad. This team was created by the AATT project office, the Distributed Air Ground Traffic Management is illustrated by allocated decision-making among the flight deck, Air Traffic service Providers and AOC. It is also a National Airspace System operation which augments user effectiveness, flexibility and system capabilities.
The Distributed Air Ground Traffic Management advocates that the said definition be assessed as one probable expansion of the numerous Free Flight execution methods presently under deliberation. The concept of strategic arrival management illustrated in the Terminal Area Productivity research could be seen to have many potential. The Distributive Air Ground research shifts from a ground-controlled setting to a more disseminated setting with probably uneven division tasks. NASA Ames is presently organizing a research setting to examine Distributive Air Ground Traffic Management with all main technologies incorporated.
Preliminary concepts and settings have been identified and conferred with pilot or controller center groups. Based from the simulations they conducted one could not help but admit the promises this new technology offers. If this new technology is put into use soon it could greatly help in saving time. It would also be beneficial in the sense that this new technology advocates safety as one of its primary goals. As air traffic lessen, safety increases and with that there is definitely no reason not to support this new development.
References Advanced Air Transportation Technologies (AATT), Project Aviation System Capacity (ASC), & Program National Aeronautics and Space Administration. (1999). Concept Definition for Distributed Air/Ground Traffic Management (DAG-TM) [Electronic Version]. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from http://www. asc. nasa. gov/aatt/dagconop. pdf Dino, J. (2004). Coast-to-Coast Simulation Tests New Air Traffic Management Concepts [Electronic Version]. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from http://www. nasa. gov/vision/earth/improvingflight/DAG-TM. html NASA Ames Research Center. (2002). DAG-TM Concept Element 5 En Route Free
Maneuvering Operational Concept Description [Electronic Version]. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from http://www. asc. nasa. gov/aatt/rto/RTOFinal72_DAGCE50CD. pdf NASA Ames Research Center (2003). DAG-TM Concept Element 6 En Route Trajectory Negotiation Operational Concept Description [Electronic Version]. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from http://www. asc. nasa. gov/aatt/rto/RTOFinal72_DAGCE60CD. pdf The Boeing Company. (2001). Air Traffic Management [Electronic Version]. Retrieved November 10, 2007, from http://www. emotionreports. com/downloads/pdfs/traffic_management. pdf