ATD Project TIM

Airspace Technology Demonstrations (ATD) Project Technical Interchange Meeting (TIM) - September 22 - 23, 2021


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Every time you fly, NASA’s ATD technologies found in flight deck and ground-based systems are guiding you through your flight. We really are “with you when you fly.” The Airspace Technology Demonstrations (ATD) Project is a collection of critical technology development and demonstration activities geared toward delivery of near-term benefits to air transportation system stakeholders. The ATD Project is part of the Airspace Operations and Safety Program (AOSP) under NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD). The ATD Project included three Sub-Projects with the following technology development focus:

  • ATD-1 Terminal Sequencing and Spacing / Flight Deck Interval Management: Improve terminal arrival operations efficiency while increasing arrival throughput

  • ATD-2 Integrated Arrival/Departure/Surface: Improve the predictability and efficiency of airport surface and terminal departure operations

  • ATD-3 Applied Traffic Flow Management: Reduce weather-related delays through the integration of weather information with flight deck and en route traffic flow management tools
A graphic illustration of ATD airspace

NASA helped make NextGen trajectory-based traffic management a reality by transferring ATD technology and knowledge to the FAA and Industry. The ATD project will be delivering its final research transition package at the end of September 2021. Please join us for this two-day Technical Interchange Meeting to learn about how the ATD research products are making a difference today and in the years to come.

Session Descriptions

ATD Project Overview

Brief introduction of ATD-1, ATD-2 and ATD-3 sub-projects and what’s to come in each session.

ATD-1 / Trajectory Based Operations (TBO)

Today, the FAA is fully engaged in the development and deployment of TBO for the NAS. To realize TBO, the FAA and NAS user community recognize the importance of systems-of-systems thinking and of greater integration across systems, programs, teams, and between research and the field. The ATD-1 Operational Integration Assessment (OIA), helped blaze the trail for this important transition while moving TBFM Terminal Sequencing and Spacing (TSAS) down the path to deployment. Only a few years later, a comprehensive flight test of Flight Deck Interval Management (FIM) capabilities was executed, complementary and interoperable with traffic flow capabilities that were then emerging for TBO. Together, the ATD-1 tech transfers helped pave the way for the highly integrated systems-of-systems development and acquisition being undertaken for TBO. This session will chart that path to where we are today, and where we are going in the future.

ATD-3 / Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests (TASAR)

TASAR, under ATD-3, completed the transition of NASA-developed, cockpit-based, flight optimization technology to TRL 7. Now under commercialization by industry, the airline community is exploring operational adoption and future TASAR applications. This session will look back at the airline operational trial of TASAR conducted in ATD-3, and it will look forward to ongoing commercialization and the future TASAR roadmap from NASA’s and industry’s perspective.

ATD-3 / Dynamic Routes for Arrivals in Weather (DRAW) and Multi-Flight Common Route (MFCR)

The goal of traffic flow management is to safely and efficiently manage streams of traffic while maintaining throughput. This is challenging during convective weather, which is the leading cause of delay in the National Airspace System. The goal of ATD-3 was to come up with technological solutions to help address that problem. This session will focus on how the FAA can potentially leverage the ATD-3 DRAW and MFCR technologies to improve efficiency and throughput in the en route and arrival phases of flight.

ATD-2 / Single-Airport Integrated Arrival Departure Surface (IADS)

Terminal Flight Data Manager (TFDM), the surface management solution for NextGen, is a key element of the FAA’s TBO initiative. NASA, the FAA, and Industry recently completed a multi-year demonstration of surface departure metering and overhead stream insertion capabilities that the FAA will deploy to 27 airports via TFDM Build 2 implementation. The TFDM concept requires an unprecedented degree of collaboration between ATC and flight operator personnel involved in managing airport surface traffic. TFDM provides new tools for ATC and new data interfaces to facilitate collaboration with flight operators; however, the latter must equip to effectively participate in the TFDM concept. The ATD-2 Single-Airport IADS system demonstrated at Charlotte Douglas International airport (CLT) was a pathfinder for TFDM and included both ATC and flight operator tools. This session will describe how ATD-2 knowledge and technology from the CLT demonstration are being applied under TFDM.

ATD-2 / Multi-Airport IADS

NASA’s ATD-2 IADS research seeks to improve the efficiency of surface operations as departures from multiple airports compete for constrained terminal airspace resources (e.g. departure fixes). Highly accurate surface predictions from the single-airport IADS system are inputs to a novel, NASA-built terminal scheduler which assesses terminal airspace demand/capacity imbalance and provides departure reroute recommendations based on flight operator preference. These airline preferences are communicated via the Trajectory Option Set (TOS) mechanism. This session will provide an overview of the multi-airport IADS concept and describe the quantifiable benefits that were demonstrated during the 2021 field evaluation. A panel discussion will provide an opportunity for FAA and flight operators to describe their experience using the tool to manage North Texas departure operations.

ATD-2 / Digital Services

The path to NAS-wide implementation for ATD-2 multi-airport IADS is as a digital service for flight operators that builds on and supplements FAA TBO investments. This session will focus on a suite of Machine Learning (ML) services the ATD-2 team developed to model airport surface operations. The approach using SWIM data sets will be described and a preliminary analysis of ML model accuracy will be presented. NASA plans to leverage ATD-2 research and modularize the code to fit a service-oriented architecture ecosystem and evaluate the ML services in a real-world environment under the ATM-X Digital Information Platform (DIP) sub-project also will be discussed.

Meeting Details

  • DATES: Wednesday, September 22, 2021 & Thursday, September 23, 2021
  • TIME: 11:00AM - 5:30PM ET / 8:00AM - 2:30PM PT (same for both days)
  • AGENDA: Click here to view Agenda now available!


Day 1 -Sept 22 11am PT

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Day 2 - Sept 23 11am PT

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