Autonomous Airport Operations for Safe and Efficient Use of Airports, Phase I

Metadata Updated: May 2, 2019

The concepts of Virtual Towers and Autonomous Airport Operations emerged as cost-effective options in early conceptualization of the Next-Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) for relieving traffic demand at major airports by providing control tower services at nearby uncontrolled airports. These concepts have the benefit of saving the tower construction cost and the cost for otherwise staffing the towers with a full cadre of controllers. More recently, the threat of sequestration forced the FAA to announce closure of 149 airport towers; though the closure plan was rescinded, these concepts again appear as viable alternatives for providing control-tower services at reduced costs. Virtual Towers and Autonomous Airport Operations are in fact related concepts. On one hand, Virtual Towers depend on automation to allow a small crew of controllers to manage traffic at multiple airports, and the increase in automation moves the concept towards Autonomous Airport Operations as automation becomes more capable. On the other hand, Autonomous Airport Operations should have controllers available as a fall-back option in a Virtual Tower environment to ensure safety when abnormal conditions emerge. The proposed research seeks to develop practical concepts for Autonomous Airport Operations, and apply state-of-the-art automation technologies to enable such operations. The automation technologies include a computer-based ATC agent that can monitor and plan traffic movement, issue clearances, and communicate with the pilots over the radio using advanced speech processing technologies. In addition, low-cost surveillance systems based on machine vision will be explored to provide the necessary traffic information around the airport and on the airport surface.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: U.S. Government Work

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Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date May 2, 2019

Metadata Source

Harvested from NASA Data.json

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date May 2, 2019
Publisher Space Technology Mission Directorate
Unique Identifier TECHPORT_33604
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Datagov Dedupe Retained 20190501230127
Harvest Object Id fb308f58-a37d-4c0d-92fb-1cede1597b44
Harvest Source Id 39e4ad2a-47ca-4507-8258-852babd0fd99
Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Data First Published 2015-12-01
Homepage URL
Data Last Modified 2018-07-19
Program Code 026:027
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 6ca206ccbe6287fd477dec5a9525675b01b6e232
Source Schema Version 1.1

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