NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Next Generation Air-Traffic Management Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE:Airport Ground Resource Planning Tool

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mosaic ATM, Inc.
1190 Hawling Pl
Leesburg ,VA 20175 - 5084
(703) 737 - 7637

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Stephen C Atkins
3 Primrose Lane
Westford, MA  20175 -5084
(978) 692 - 9484

The NASA-developed Surface Management System (SMS) is currently being used by several air carriers on a daily basis. Although SMS was intended to create shared awareness between FAA and National Airspace System (NAS) user stakeholders in airport traffic management, it was not designed to address the specific needs of air carriers or airport authorities. This suggests a market for an airport automation tool aimed directly at the decisions that air carriers must make every day and which can significantly impact their business efficiency. This project will design and build a tool to improve the efficiency with which airport ground resources are used. Substantial re-designing of the displays relative to those available in SMS will improve the system's usability. Moreover, the complexity of the problem of optimizing resource assignment in the presence of the uncertainties involved suggest that automation may be able to improve efficiency and reduce the planner's workload. The Airport Ground Resource Planning (AGRP) tool will include both appropriate graphical user interfaces for visualizing resource allocations and making manual entries as well as advanced planning algorithms to recommend efficient allocation decisions. Phase 1 will study a single resource ? the off-load crews for a cargo operation.

The proposed SBIR is focused primarily towards a commercial product and, therefore, potential NASA applications are limited. However, one application for this work is to NASA's continuing analysis of the impact and benefits of other automation or surface traffic management changes. NASA could use the ground resource planning algorithm to study how other changes on the airport surface would affect delays or throughput. The ground resource planning problem, fundamentally, is a queuing problem where each resource is a separate queue. The algorithm optimally assigns flights to queues and calculates the wait and service times. Therefore, the algorithm could even be applied to study runway usage, where each runway is a resource, or taxiway usage where the resources of interest are the intersections. In addition, NASA could integrate the new user interface into NASA's advanced airport surface automation research to broaden the capabilities available to address NASA's research goals.

The AGRP tool is intended to be used by air carriers or airport authorities responsible for managing ground resources such as parking gate assignments. Ground resource managers will use the AGPR tool to aid parking gate assignments, off-load and load crew utilization, fuel and catering scheduling, maintenance crew assignments, and marshalling/tug dispatching. The benefit from the AGPR tool will be most noticeable for air carriers at hub airports or airport authorities responsible for utilization of a resource for the entire airport. This technology is applicable both here in the United States as well as internationally. Ground resources, including parking gates, are shared between air carriers at many international airports, making efficient use of the resources including fairness more important. In addition, fuel or catering companies contracted by the air carriers to provide services could use the AGRP tool to better manage their operations.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Airport Infrastructure and Safety
Expert Systems
Human-Computer Interfaces

Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12