Airspace Design Tool
Designed to provide 3D/4D data integration and visualization, Metron Aviation’s Airspace Design Tool (ADT) provides the ability to graphically modify airspace design components to assess impacts of design modifications. Complexity metrics are used to quantify usage of airspace over time, and also estimate Air Traffic Control (ATC) workload. Route-optimization algorithms provide the capability to find complex route sets that best satisfy multiple design objectives.
ADT provides a central integrated display for multiple data sources. Within ADT the user can overlay population, flight navigation and geospatial data with flight tracks from multiple sources. Through ADT, the airspace designer can design alternate scenarios and validate work within various operational models, used to simulate the design. The tool provides the capability to import, track and modify data from various sources, then display the tracks in a multi-dimensional view, allowing the user to manipulate them graphically to conform to actual or proposed airspace designs. The tool can also be used to identify noise-impacted areas as well as provide operational metrics in terms of time, distance and complexity. Supporting tools allow manipulation of non-spatial characteristics such as aircraft types and event times.
Reducing operating costs by increasing efficiency through performance based navigation is an important goal of NextGen priorities. Metron Aviation supports both NASA and the FAA in development of various airspace concepts to provide more flexible airspace, by dynamically allocating the airspace resources in response to weather events and changes in demand profile. The Dynamic Airspace Configuration (DAC) program, focuses on the methods of dynamically altering the arrangement of sectors and other airspace structures, adding new dynamic structures and using other methods of airspace modification. The resulting methods of alteration allow restructuring of airspace, while maintaining essential current Air Traffic Control (ATC) methods to provide the National Airspace System (NAS) continuity and a progressive implementation of NextGen.
The aim of the configuration services is to achieve NextGen goals. Multiple airspace classes are envisioned, which can be traded based on the performance characteristics of future operations. DAC enables users to fly closer to their preferred trajectories and reduce operational costs for aviation stakeholders.
Algorithm development and methodologies for designing different classes of airspace include:
- Dynamic Sectorization for optimally partitioning the airspace to sectors for time periods as short as 4 hours
- Generic Airspace for efficiently allocating controller resources across NAS
- Flow Corridors for facilitating the flow of aircraft between congested areas of the NAS with minimal interruption from crossing traffic
- High Automated Self-Separation Airspace for enable highly equipped aircraft to fly user preferred routes.
Metron Aviation airspace configuration services span a wide range of research efforts, including concept development, operational procedure development, statistical analysis, algorithm design, fast time traffic simulation and Human-In-The-Loop (HITL) simulations.