Dulles, VA, United States
Dulles, VA, United States
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Yousefi A.,Metron Aviation, Inc. | Zadeh A.N.,Metron Aviation, Inc.
Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies | Year: 2013

A flow-based modeling approach is proposed to identify candidate airspace for high-density flow corridors. The input to the model is a set of projected user-preferred, wind optimal, and unconstrained 4D trajectories (4DTs). We compute Velocity Vector Fields (VVFs) in the 4D space-time and cluster the velocity vectors both in time and space to define flow of aircraft when they fly their preferred trajectories under high capacity conditions. A sliding time window is implemented to dynamically create and optimize corridors' coordinates based on the changes in preferred trajectories. From this process we compute a NAS-wide corridor network that mimics the dynamics of user preferred trajectories. In operational setting, flights will have the option of joining a corridor that is closest to their optimal trajectory. Using NAS-wide simulation, we asses the benefit of corridor network by comparing efficiency gained by joining the corridor network against extra distance traveled to join the network. We show that much of the overall corridors benefit may be gained by creating very few corridors. © 2012.


Patent
Metron Aviation, Inc. | Date: 2011-04-05

Flight substitution and reroute is accomplished based on frequently updated flow constrained areas and a flight substitution system to minimize the impact of severe weather on the NAS. Each flight is assigned a route, a FCA controlled time of arrival (FCA_CTA) slot, a controlled time of departure, and a destination controlled time of arrival, wherein the flights are sorted according to the FCA_CTA slot to pass sequentially through an FCA. When a flight is re-routed, the subsequent flight FCA_CTA is updated with the FCA_CTA slot made available by the preceding flight. If such an update is not feasible, then the subsequent flight FCA_CTA is updated according to a slot credit substitution give-away method. The benefits and costs for rerouting a flight out of an AFP are input to an optimization framework for providing the best flight time and flight reroute options.


Patent
Metron Aviation, Inc. | Date: 2011-01-05

A method is presented here for mitigation of airport congestion problem by manipulating flight arrival times to coincide with expected departure times in order to keep airport demand under a specific limit and optimize utilized capacity of an airport. In one example, a threshold is defined which is related to the airport surface capacity to represent airports tolerance for accumulation. At the time the congestion problem is overcome, the accumulation rate is not positive. In another example, a threshold is defined which is related to the airport facilities available to a specific carrier and is applied to the flights operated by that carrier.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 599.99K | Year: 2011

Metron Aviation, Inc. proposes to design a system to support a marketplace in which flight operators can exchange arrival slots in traffic flow management (TFM) initiatives such as airspace flow programs (AFPs) and ground delay programs (GDPs) while requiring no changes in FAA automation or procedures. The advent of AFPs in 2006 has generated many more potentially exchangeable resources that would be valued sufficiently differently by their owners to make a trade desirable. We believe that NAS users and the FAA would embrace such a marketplace and that it would enable users to collectively reduce their operating costs resulting from NAS congestion.Both FAA and NASA research has highlighted the need for efficient and equitable allocation of NAS resources and increased operational flexibility. Market-based mechanisms have been suggested for transferring system-imposed delay from more critical to less critical flights. No such capability is available to NAS users today. In this SBIR, we will show how the advent of AFPs changes the forces at work in a slot-trading marketplace, making its functions much more valuable to flight operators.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 599.99K | Year: 2011

Technological innovations have enabled a wide range of aerial vehicles that can be remotely operated. Viable applications include military missions, law enforcement, border patrol, weather data collection, telecommunications, land use imaging, and cargo transport. NASA and other organizations have invested heavily in this unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) research. UAVs can be flown in the National Airspace System (NAS) today, but only with special permission from the FAAÂ? a process that often takes 60 to 90 days. Moreover, permission is often contingent on heavy restrictions, such as accompanying the UAV with a manned chase plane, thereby nullifying the cost savings of a UAV. Full fruition of UAV technology will require incorporation of UAVs into mainstream airtraffic management (ATM) practices, including traffic flow management flow control programs and possible creation of special use airspace (SUA). In this SBIR, we propose a UAV-to-traffic flow management (AIM-UAS) interface. This allows traffic managers to anticipate and track UAVs. In turn, this allows UAV operators to understand their impact on commercial air traffic and their involvement in traffic management activities.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.79K | Year: 2010

We propose to design a system to support a marketplace in which flight operators can exchange arrival slots in traffic flow management (TFM) initiatives such as airspace flow programs (AFPs) and ground delay programs (GDPs) while requiring no changes in FAA automation or procedures. The advent of AFPs in 2006 has generated many more potentially exchangeable resources that would be valued sufficiently differently by their owners to make a trade desirable. We believe that NAS users and the FAA would embrace such a marketplace and that it would enable users to collectively reduce their operating costs resulting from NAS congestion. Both FAA and NASA research has highlighted the need for efficient and equitable allocation of NAS resources and increased operational flexibility. In the past market-based mechanisms have been suggested for transferring system-imposed delay from more critical to less critical flights. No such capability is available to NAS users today. In this SBIR, we will show how the advent of AFPs changes the forces at work in a slot-trading marketplace, making its functions much more valuable to flight operators. We will also design a system that will provide the aviation community with a means of reducing operating costs and increasing effective throughput by trading scarce NAS resources.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.83K | Year: 2010

Technological innovations have enabled a wide range of aerial vehicles that can be remotely operated. Viable applications include military missions, law enforcement, border patrol, weather data collection, telecommunications, land use imaging, and cargo transport. NASA and other organizations have invested heavily in this unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) research. UAVs can be flown in the National Airspace System (NAS) today, but only with special permission from the FAA – a process that often takes 60 to 90 days. Moreover, permission is often contingent on heavy restrictions, such as accompanying the UAV with a manned chase plane, thereby nullifying the cost savings of a UAV. Full fruition of UAV technology will require incorporation of UAVs into mainstream air traffic management (ATM) practices, including traffic flow management flow control programs and possible creation of special use airspace (SUA). In this SBIR, we propose a UAV-to-traffic flow management (UAV-TFM) interface. This allows traffic managers to anticipate and track UAVs. In turn, this allows UAV operators to understand the their impact on commercial air traffic and their involvement in traffic management activities.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.89K | Year: 2010

NASA's Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) Airportal effort seeks to optimize aircraft surface movements through approaches that could double or triple airport and metroplex throughput. This goal can only be achieved through accurate modeling of airport/metroplex throughput, identifying the real causes of bottlenecks (not simply those that are politically palatable), proposing an innovative solution to eliminate these bottlenecks, and developing performance metrics that actually capture when the innovative solution is working and any corrective actions that may be required. The proposed innovation by Metron Aviation consists of the following components: (1) Accurate model of airport throughput taking into account aircraft and gate attributes (2) Virtual sequencing and scheduling program: Virtual queue based on aircraft type, scheduled departure time, and air carrier constraints; Aircraft virtual departure sequence prior to pushback based on the minimum time to drain a virtual queue by taking into account wake vortex constraints, (3) Increased Situational awareness and communications among ground/metering, local, and ramp controllers, and (4) Airport throughput performance metrics. Overall, this Metron Aviation innovation provides a software tool that will improve airport situational awareness, the reduction/elimination and management of potential surface flow bottlenecks that lead to a significant improvement in airport throughput.


Patent
Metron Aviation, Inc. | Date: 2010-07-15

A partitioning system includes a decomposer module, a supply and cell commonality computation module, a network structure setup module, a seed selection module, an optimization setup module, a solver module, and a boundary creation module. A network structure is created by connecting each cell to each of its neighboring cells using bi-directional arcs. Each bi-directional arc is assigned a flow value and a cell commonality metric. The optimization program is solved to determine the flow value for each bi-directional arc and to determine a plurality of open seeds. Each determined seed represents one partition. Partition boundaries are created by grouping cells when they are connected to each other via one of the updated set of bi-directional arcs into cell clusters. Cells within cell clusters are merged to create the predetermined number of contiguous partitions.


Grant
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 599.99K | Year: 2009

We design and develop a Decision Support Tool (DST) that supports On-Demand Special Use Airspace (SUA) scheduling and flight plan optimization around SUA between Airline Operations Control (AOC), Military, Air Traffic Control System Command Center (ATCSCC), and Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) personnel. The tool allows AOC and ARTCC Traffic Management Unit (TMU) personnel to coordinate strategic and tactical plans, with a strategic look ahead time from days to less than 2 hours, and tactical plans up to the minute centered locally around an ARTCC airspace. The tool coordinates aircraft movement though vs around SUA. The tool allows for asynchronous communication of priorities associated with flight plans and flight plan amendments (contingency plans) between the AOC and ARTCC TMU specialist, allowing the ATCSCC and Military to view these priorities and TMU responses to them at any time. This technology will be developed to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 2 at the end of Phase I, and TRL 4 prototype system by the end of Phase II.

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