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airborne management of traffic conflicts in descent with arrival constraintsNASA is studying far-term air traffic management concepts that may increase operational efficiency through a redistribution of decisionmaking authority among airborne and ground-based elements of the air transportation system. One component of this research, En Route Free Maneuvering, allows trained pilots of equipped autonomous aircraft to assume responsibility for traffic separation. Ground-based air traffic controllers would continue to separate traffic unequipped for autonomous operations and would issue flow management constraints to all aircraft. To evaluate En Route Free Maneuvering operations, a human-in-the-loop experiment was jointly conducted by the NASA Ames and Langley Research Centers. In this experiment, test subject pilots used desktop flight simulators to resolve conflicts in cruise and descent, and to adhere to air traffic flow constraints issued by test subject controllers. Simulators at NASA Langley were equipped with a prototype Autonomous Operations Planner (AOP) flight deck toolset to assist pilots with conflict management and constraint compliance tasks. Results from the experiment are presented, focusing specifically on operations during the initial descent into the terminal area. Airborne conflict resolution performance in descent, conformance to traffic flow management constraints, and the effects of conflicting traffic on constraint conformance are all presented. Subjective data from subject pilots are also presented, showing perceived levels of workload, safety, and acceptability of autonomous arrival operations. Finally, potential AOP functionality enhancements are discussed along with suggestions to improve arrival procedures.
Document ID
Document Type
Doble, Nathan A.
(Titan Corp. Hampton, VA, United States)
Barhydt, Richard
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Krishnamurthy, Karthik
(Titan Corp. Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2005
Subject Category
Air Transportation and Safety
Meeting Information
24th Digital Avionics Systems Conference(Washington, DC)
Funding Number(s)
OTHER: 23-137-10-10
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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