The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has selected Saab Sensis Corporation, a subsidiary of defense and security company Saab, for the NASA Research Announcement (NRA) “Adaptation of a Surface Management Tool to Multiple, Capacity-Constrained Airports.” Under the NRA, Saab Sensis will identify three current-day capacity-constrained airports and create realistic departure scheduling schemes for those airports to be tested within NASA’s Surface Operations Simulator and Scheduler (SOSS). Through the research, Saab Sensis will broaden the scope of the NASA airport surface traffic optimization research beyond current trials to further determine their ability to enhance airport capacity through improved sequencing and scheduling.
One of the main objectives of the FAA’s NextGen initiative is to ease current and plan for mitigation of future capacity constraints at the nation’s airports. As part of the research into effective strategies for mitigating capacity issues, NASA is researching, developing and testing a number of decision support tools (DST) for future deployment in the National Airspace System (NAS) to assist air traffic controllers in addressing capacity issues.
As part of this NRA, Saab Sensis will identify three current-day capacity constrained airports by examining taxi-out delays, scheduled departure demand versus airport departure capacity and other characteristics. For the three airports, Saab Sensis will develop airport surface traffic scheduling approaches along with the ability to interject real-world operational constraints for testing within the SOSS tool.
“Addressing capacity issues through new Decision Support Tools that improve utilization of current runways and taxiways will positively impact air travel for the public through reduced delays and better on-time performance,” said Ken Kaminski, vice president and general manager of Saab Sensis. “Saab Sensis will apply its surface traffic management modeling, simulation and DST development experience to accelerate the adaptation of these promising new tools for use in the NAS as a less costly capacity-reduction alternative to capital improvement projects like building more runways.”
Saab Sensis is a leader in modeling, simulation and analysis of the potential impact of future airspace and airport improvements through numerous projects for the FAA, NASA, JPDO and other industry and academic organizations. Through its fast-time and real-time capabilities, Saab Sensis can generate current and future air traffic demand scenarios, provide system-wide or regional simulations to evaluate current and future air traffic management concepts, conduct human-in-the-loop simulations of NextGen concepts, and analyze and visualize simulation results. The company also develops decision support tools that help airport stakeholders address key efficiency and capacity challenges.