New entrants to the NAS will require new airspace concepts that ensure safety, but are more responsive than traditional airspace closure methods. Most special activity airspace (SAA) has a schedule associated with it, but deviations from the schedule are common due to factors such as weather or military aircraft status, which allows release of that SAA to other users. Unfortunately, flight operators do not have sufficient look-ahead time to efficiently respond to these real-time SAA status changes. The proposed innovation includes: 1) A capability for new entrants to more efficiently provide and receive airspace definition and status information, particularly when critical to their proposed operations; 2) A capability to forecast SAA status and determine a measure of forecast confidence; 3) Forecast SAA status that is knowable to the flight operator pre-departure, combined with real-time SAA status, will enable flight operators to fly more efficient routes; 4) A prototype application to display scheduled, real-time, and forecast status of new entrant airspace, SAA, and TFRs. This prototype will determine if a 4D trajectory is impacted by scheduled, real-time, and/or forecast closures of airspace.
The objectives are: 1) Develop forecasts of SAA status based on analysis of archive of ERAM SFDPS SU messages and SAMS SAA schedule information. Using historical weather data, an analysis will be performed to investigate potential correlation between SAA status and weather. 2) Collaborate with NASA developers of new entrant concepts to analyze candidate operational concepts related to airspace structure, usage, and procedures associated with new entrants. 3) Develop a prototype to display airspace boundaries and scheduled, real-time, and forecast status. Mosaic ATM’s existing NCR prototype will be leveraged. NCR’s trajectory model, trajectory query function, and geospatial server will be extended to determine if 4D trajectories are impacted by SAA constraints.
NASA researchers of UAM, UAS, UTM, SVO, and traditional ATM concepts can utilize the SAA prototype to receive SAA, TFR, and new entrant definition and status information critical to their concepts. Status information is based on schedule, real-time, and forecasting sources. In addition, new entrant researchers can send new entrant definition and status information to other stakeholders/users as a de facto testbed for facilitating feedback and acceptance of proposed concepts.
The proposed innovation will enable developers of commercial flight planning and trajectory optimization tools (e.g., SmartRoutesTM) to ingest real-time and forecast airspace closure information for their respective needs. For users that want SAA forecasting for geographic and temporal awareness, the cloud-based service will provide additional insight to what is available at sua.faa.gov/sua.