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  • Air Traffic Management

    Concept Baseline Definition

    Prepared by

    Boeing Commercial Airplane Group

    NEXTOR Report # RR-97-3October 31, 1997

    Aslaug Haraldsdottir, Principal Investigator

    Monica S. Alcabin

    Alvin H. Burgemeister

    Charles G. Lindsey

    Nigel J. Makins

    Robert W. Schwab

    Arek Shakarian

    William D. Shontz

    Marissa K. Singleton

    Paul A. van Tulder

    Anthony W. Warren

  • ii

    Preface

    This report documents research undertaken by the National Center of Excellence forAviation Operations Research, under Federal Aviation Administration Research GrantNumber 96-C-001. This document has not been reviewed by the Federal AviationAdministration (FAA). Any opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those ofthe FAA or the U.S. Department of Transportation.

    This document consists of the ATM Concept Baseline Definition, which incorporatesmaterial from the NAS Stakeholders Needs report prepared as a separate volume. TheNAS Stakeholders Needs report should be viewed as an adjunct to this volume, and isincluded as part of Boeings submission under NEXTOR Contract #DTFA03-97-00004,Subagreement #SA1636JB.

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    Executive Summary

    This report presents an operational concept for the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS)through the year 2015, including a transition path from the current system. This conceptwas developed by Boeing Commercial Airplane Group for NASAs Advanced AirTransportation Technologies (AATT) program, under subcontract with NEXTOR(National Center of Excellence for Aviation Operations Research).

    The operational concept presented here is aimed at driving research to support preliminarydesign decisions for the NAS, which will produce top level technical and human factorsrequirements to achieve the system mission. Detailed concept validation research mustthen be performed, where technology and human factors will be combined with economicevaluation of concept components to fully define the operational concept and architecture.Thus, the concept presented here, although well supported by rationale as to what mightbe feasible in the next two decades, must be subjected to critical analysis and validation.

    A companion report presents the results of a survey of NAS stakeholder needs, conductedMay-August 1997, which details stakeholders concerns about terminal area capacity andaccess to airspace through 2015. Stakeholders also expressed the need to maintain orimprove safety in the NAS, and a need for increased emphasis on human factors research.

    This report discusses the various factors that can force change in the NAS, and develops arationale for considering traffic growth as the primary driver for the ATM operationalconcept. The NAS mission goals are defined in terms of safety, capacity and efficiency,and a scenario is presented that predicts NAS traffic gridlock by 2006, where the terminalarea will be the primary choke point. If not averted, this will make current airline hubbingoperations infeasible, lead to escalation of operating costs and constrain economic growth.This scenario is used as the basis for the operational concept, and high density operationsare emphasized in the report.

    Highlights of the concept evolution presented in this report are:

    1. Airspace will be configured to support a certain density of operation, ranging fromhigh to low, through dynamic partitioning.

    2. Access to airspace will be based on the required system performance for the airspaceoperation. A given aircraft will be qualified to a maximum Required SystemPerformance (RSP) level in which it can operate. RSP is developed by consideringATM-related safety through an analysis of collision risk for the overall separationassurance function.

    3. A uniform CNS infrastructure performance is assumed to be provided throughout theNAS, except for Category II-III landing and surface operations.

    4. High density separation services will be provided neither by procedural nor radarseparation, but by a new precision form of separation assurance. This will allowsystem throughput to be maximized where shared precision trajectory intent and auniversal time reference are assumed.

    5. Low density separation services will be provided in other airspace, where user freedomto select and modify the flight trajectory is allowed.

  • iv

    6. Separation responsibility will remain shared between air traffic services and flightcrews. In high density operations the airplane will provide a separation monitoringfunction.

    The report discusses the human factors issues that lie at the heart of most of the proposedsystem modernization initiatives, and makes recommendations regarding the nature andextent of the human factors involvement in the system evolution. A detailed overview ofcurrent and emerging communication, navigation and surveillance technologies is includedin the report, along with an overview of aviation weather technology.

    The current lack of consensus in the industry on the details of the NAS modernizationpath are discussed in the report. The need for a disciplined systems engineering approachto the NAS evolution is detailed, with a particular focus on preliminary design activity thatis essential to focus the effort on the critical mission needs. The report calls for acollaborative development and validation of the operational concept, and of the systemarchitecture, to ensure consideration of total system performance and minimize politicalrisk.

  • v

    Table of Contents

    1 Introduction..................................................................................................................1

    1.1 Objectives ..............................................................................................................1

    1.2 Context..................................................................................................................2

    1.3 Scope.....................................................................................................................2

    1.4 Report Overview....................................................................................................3

    2 The NAS ATM System Development Process...............................................................5

    2.1 Air Traffic System Modernization Mandate............................................................5

    2.2 Consensus Future System Development Needs.......................................................6

    2.3 Systems Engineering and Preliminary Design..........................................................6

    3 The ATM System Functional Structure .......................................................................26

    3.1 Air Traffic Management Objectives ......................................................................26

    3.2 A Functional View of the Current Concept...........................................................28

    3.3 A Functional View of the Proposed Concept........................................................35

    3.4 Proposed CNS/ATM Technology Improvements..................................................42

    3.5 Airspace and Airways...........................................................................................42

    3.6 Airports ...............................................................................................................43

    3.7 Flight Service Stations .........................................................................................44

    4 Human Factors ...........................................................................................................45

    4.1 The Search For Greater Throughput And The Demands On The Human ..............45

    4.2 The Role Of Human Factors In Enabling Change .................................................45

    4.3 Human Factors Issues Affecting Tactical Control .................................................48

    5 Available and Emerging Technology ...........................................................................55

    5.1 Introduction.........................................................................................................55

    5.2 Communication....................................................................................................65

    5.3 Navigation ...........................................................................................................75

    5.4 Surveillance .........................................................................................................80

    5.5 Aviation Weather .................................................................................................87

    6 ATM Concept Baseline............................................................................................. 102

    6.1 Concept Transition Methodology ....................................................................... 102

    6.2 Capacity Driven Concept Baseline...................................................................... 106

    6.3 Concept Validation Needs.................................................................................. 114

  • vi

    7 NAS Concept Evaluation .......................................................................................... 116

    7.1 Global Scenarios ................................................................................................ 116

    7.2 Implications of Global Scenarios on System Transition Paths ............................. 119

    7.3 Comparison with the FAA and RTCA Operational Concepts.............................. 120

    8 Conclusions and Recommendations........................................................................... 1

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