Form 9.B Project Summary



Proposal Number:


Project Title:

Air Traffic Controller Agent Model for

Free Flight

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

We propose to examine the human factors needs of

air traffic controllers operating under free flight

through the development of a modeling and analysis

tool based on an agent representation of the overall

controller/air traffic system. The approach relies on

a multi-stage agent-based representation of the

controller's SA and decision-making behavior, and

a multidimensional metric that reflects SA,

performance, and error propensity. We propose to

incorporate the controller agent into a simulated

free flight environment that contains a set of

semi-autonomous pilot agent models. Our objective

is to develop a simulation tool that will support the

development of rules and procedures for free flight

implementation, via simulation-based analysis of

controller behavior and airspace system safety

under alternate free flight configurations. One of

the key innovative features of the resulting free

flight simulation tool is a distributed

decision-making model embedded into the

multi-agent architecture, which will provide air

traffic management system designers with a basis

for the formulation of effective decision allocation

between ground control and pilots in free flight.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

The proposed technology will directly support

closing the human factors loop on the development

of free flight ATM concepts. The underlying

modeling approach will also support human factors

assessments in other domains (e.g., nuclear power

plants, chemical processing centers, power dispatch

stations, intelligent vehicle highway system control

centers, etc.) where it is desirable to determine how

system design affects operator awareness and

performance before committing to a specific

configuration. We also plan to extract the belief

network algorithm that emulates air traffic

controller situation assessment in the presence of

uncertainty, and develop a commercial-quality

software tool for computer-based reasoning under


Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Sandeep M. Mulgund

Charles River Analytics

55 Wheeler Street

Cambridge , MA 02138-1125

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Greg L. Zacharias

Charles River Analytics

55 Wheeler Street

Cambridge , MA 02138-1125