Trajectory Design to Benefit Trajectory-Based Surface Operations

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX09CC15P
Agency Tracking Number: 085377
Amount: $99,978.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: A3.02
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
95 First Street, Suite 240, Los Altos, CA, 94022-2777
DUNS: 829385509
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Victor Cheng
 Principal Investigator
 (650) 559-8585
Business Contact
 Victor Cheng
Title: Business Official
Phone: (650) 559-8585
Research Institution
Trajectory-based operations constitute a key mechanism considered by the Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO) for managing traffic in high-density or high-complexity airspace in the Next-Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen). With this concept applied to surface operations at major airports, NASA's NextGen-Airportal Project is exploring the use of surface 4-dimensional (4D) trajectories, which use required times of arrival (RTAs) at selected locations along the route. Observing these RTAs as constraints along the taxi route, the flight still has many degrees of freedom in adjusting its state profiles (i.e., position, velocity, etc. as functions of time) to achieve the timing constraints. This research will investigate whether and how these degrees of freedom in trajectory control may be used to achieve desirable behaviors for the taxi operations. Previous research has applied the trajectory control freedom to assure passenger comfort by keeping the accelerations and decelerations within pre-specified limits, and yet there is still untapped flexibility in designing the trajectories. The proposed research will explore this trajectory design problem to achieve additional desirable behaviors, beginning with the consideration of fuel burn, emissions, and noise. A flight-deck automation experimental prototype will provide the platform for simulating the designs. The findings will benefit future designs of flight-deck automation systems, as well as tower automation systems which rely on accurate understanding of the flight deck's operational behaviors to plan efficient and safe operations for the entire surface traffic.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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