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Free Flight Simulation: An Initial Examination of Air-Ground Integration IssuesThe concept of "free flight" is intended to emphasize more flexibility for operators in the National Airspace System (RTCA, 1995). This may include the potential for aircraft self-separation. The purpose of this simulation was to begin examining some of the communication and procedural issues associated with self-separation in an integrated air-ground environment. Participants were 10 commercial U.S. flight crews who flew the B747-400 simulator and 10 Denver ARTCC controllers who monitored traffic in an ATC simulation. A prototypic airborne alerting logic and flight deck display features were designed to allow for increased traffic and maneuvering information. Eight different scenarios representing different conflict types were developed. The effects of traffic density (high and low) and different traffic convergence angles (obtuse, acute, and right) were assessed. Conflict detection times were found to be lower for the flight crews in low density compared to high density scenarios. For the controllers, an interaction between density and convergence angle was revealed. Analyses on the controller detection times found longer detection times in the obtuse high density compared to obtuse low density, as well as the shortest detection times in the high density acute angle condition. Maneuvering and communication events are summarized, and a discussion of future research issues is provided.
Document ID
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Lozito, Sandra (NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, CA United States)
McGann, Alison (San Jose State Univ. CA United States)
Cashion, Patricia (San Jose State Univ. CA United States)
Dunbar, Melisa (San Jose State Univ. CA United States)
Mackintosh, Margaret (San Jose State Univ. CA United States)
Dulchinos, Victoria (San Jose State Univ. CA United States)
Jordan, Kevin (San Jose State Univ. CA United States)
Remington, Roger
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 2000
Subject Category
Air Transportation and Safety
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:209605
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 576-01-23
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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