NASA SBIR 2005 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Next Generation Air-Traffic Management Systems
PROPOSAL TITLE:An Integrated Turbulence Hazard Decision Support Tool for Controllers and Dispatchers

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
11836 Fishing Point Drive, Suite 200
Newport News ,VA 23606 - 4507
(757) 723 - 1300

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Paul A Robinson
11836 Fishing Point Dr, Suite 200
Newport News, VA  23606 -4507
(757) 723 - 1300

Every day, turbulence has an adverse effect on aircraft operations and capacity of the NAS, costing the airline industry at least $100 million annually in operational inefficiencies, unscheduled maintenance, and injuries. A contributor to these costs is that controllers' and dispatchers' current tactical knowledge of turbulence hazards relies heavily on verbal pilot reports of turbulence, which are often inconsistent, late, and subjective. AeroTech will develop a turbulence hazard decision support tool (TurbDST) that will enhance controllers' and dispatchers' situational awareness of the location and severity of turbulence; by providing real-time quantitative turbulence information down-linked from aircraft. TurbDST will enhance tactical and strategic decision making with regard to airspace usage and aircraft routing by enabling users to predict the effect of the reported/detected turbulence on aircraft whose route may take them through that location. With enhanced turbulence knowledge, collaboration with pilots regarding route changes can be improved and cost savings to the airlines can be gained through more efficient and safer aircraft routing. Phase I will prove technical feasibility of integrating the turbulence information and will develop, using controller and dispatcher inputs, CONOPS and requirements for the TurbDST. By Phase III, a meaningful controller/dispatcher TurbDST will be developed, tested, and evaluated.

When the goals of the proposed R/R&D are met, this turbulence hazard decision support tool will be supportive of NASA's Airspace Systems program's goal to "improve throughput, predictability, flexibility, collaboration, and efficiency of the National Airspace System" and the Efficient Flight Path Management's (EFPM) goal to develop "integrated air traffic management decision support tools and advanced traffic management concepts to facilitate modernization of the NAS." The TurbDST has direct applications to the EFPM's Advanced Routing technical area and the Direct-To (D2) tool, specifically with assisting in the visualization and notification of routing conflicts due to hazardous weather (turbulence). The Strategic Airspace Usage project's Collaborative Traffic Management portion would also benefit from the tool. TurbDST will also directly contribute to NASA's Aviation Safety & Security Program's stated national goal of a 50% reduction in aviation accidents by 2007 and benefit the efforts of the Turbulence Prediction and Warning System (TPAWS) program.

AeroTech's TurbDST will provide controllers and dispatchers with improved situational awareness and information concerning turbulence location and severity that will both enhance decision-making and enable more efficient collaboration with pilots concerning flight path changes to avoid hazardous turbulence. Use of the TurbDST can result in more efficient routing of aircraft around turbulence, reductions in enroute delays due to weather/turbulence, and reductions in injuries due to turbulence, which all translate into cost savings for aircraft operators. The TurbDST also has potential as a preflight planning tool for both dispatchers and pilots. The tool will be software that can be used as a standalone system or integrated into current controller or dispatcher flight following and routing displays. Air Traffic Control Centers and Part 121 carriers (both domestic and international) will be the primary markets for the TurbDST. Delta Air Lines supports AeroTech's Phase I efforts.

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
Data Acquisition and End-to-End-Management
Guidance, Navigation, and Control
Telemetry, Tracking and Control

Form Printed on 09-19-05 13:12