Severe weather remains the main disruptor to airspace operations and traffic managers’ actions. An autonomous airspace system will need to automatically ingest the latest weather forecast(s), reason about its impact, and provide actionable guidance to human operators (in the transition) and/or other service-based airspace automation systems. Our proposed Innovation lays the foundation for such automated weather reasoning and focuses on a specific aspect of autonomous operation with clearly stated practical needs—TMI impact reduction—to demonstrate its capabilities.
Today’s manually executed TMIs are often overly restrictive, and once activated are not routinely reviewed for possible reduction in scope or duration resulting in excess delays & costs. We propose an autonomous system which will monitor the latest weather, traffic, implemented TMIs, and look for opportunities to reduce their impact on the NAS. The application will:
This autonomous severe weather trend reasoning application supports and could be part of NASA’s goal to enable successful transition to an autonomously operating airspace system. Additionally, this initial application could plug into various NASA simulations needing automated weather and/or TMI monitoring. The underlying technology can provide the framework for other autonomous weather impact reasoning systems that support future airspace uses by new entrants including UAM and UTM.
A direct application of the system to be built is for the FAA ATCSCC who plans and executes NAS-level TMIs. By using this technology, thousands of delay minutes could be saved. A modified version of the technology is applicable to airline operations to help them more readily adapt to changes in weather and TMIs. Other potential applications include UAS, UAM, and international ANSP operators.