NASA, Transportation collaborate on an air traffic system

NASA, Transportation collaborate on an air traffic system

Transportation's Richard Wright said the system's primary focus will be managing air traffic.

NASA and Transportation Department are developing a system that will help air traffic controllers better manage flow of air traffic.

In the R&D stage, the Traffic Flow Automation System is based on the existing Center Tracon Automation System, which predicts the flight of aircraft into and around major airports, said James Murphy, software engineer with NASA Ames Research Center.

Murphy spoke at a FOSE 2002 press briefing at the Washington Convention Center.

CTAS is used at 20 ATC centers and TFAS will integrate all of them, Murphy said.

TFAS will track the trajectories of aircraft as they move from center to center, providing nationwide coverage, he said.

Hewlett-Packard Co. is lending the hardware and software to NASA and Transportation to develop the system under the five-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, signed in April 2000.

Richard Wright, Transportation's prime technology consultant to the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, Mass., said the system might include a feature to alert controllers of a deviating plane, but its main objective is to manage flow of the traffic.

NASA and Transportation will analyze TFAS predictions in the next few months before deciding whether to proceed with it, Murphy said.

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