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Dulles, VA, United States

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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