185 - Unified 4D Trajectory Approach for Integrated Management

The projected growth in demand for the use of the traditional airspace by commercial space transportation entities will make it increasingly hard to accommodate launches on a Special Use Airspace (SUA) basis. A better approach is required that is able to: (i) adapt to the fluctuating frequency of launches, (ii) accommodate uncertainties in the timing and the ascent and descent/entry trajectories of the space vehicles, (iii) ensure proper separation and safety at all times, and (iv) integrate with the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA’s) NextGen system. The three main objectives for this project are: (i) to develop plausible architectures for an Integrated Airspace Management System, (ii) to research and develop the foundation of such a system so that, from the outset, time-space probabilistic trajectories and safety assessments can be incorporated, and (iii) to create a prototype implementation for a proof-of-concept of the system that may be further developed in a follow-on project. The research efforts will focus on meeting three high-level Objectives described above, with an estimated duration of 5 years of the initial Cooperative Agreement. Phasing will be determined by funding availability, detailed division of labor between collaborators and industry/government partners, project progress review and input from both the FAA sponsor and the Advisory group. Initially, the approach is based on developing the foundation of objective (ii): research and development (R&D) the foundation of a probabilistic trajectory propagation to define compact envelopes (in 4D: space and time) that can be used in conjunction with air traffic management (ATM) de-confliction techniques to assess the level of impact of future frequency/launch location scenarios on commercial air traffic. Following this effort, the research team will developed 2-3 plausible architectures that would allow us to integrate commercial space traffic with the technologies expected to be available in that time frame in NextGen. Finally, a prototype implementation leveraging National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) ATM tools such as Future ATM Concepts Evaluation Tool (FACET) and Airspace Concept Evaluation System (ACES) will be pursued if the assessment of the proposed architectures shows significant improvements vs the use of SUA. The potential outcome of this research project is three-fold. Firstly, the team will produce ideas for the possible architectures of the simultaneous management of air and space traffic, a topic that has seen very little research to date, and for which no existing options exist other than the use of SUA (which will become impractical even when the frequency of launch is relatively small). Secondly, the team will produce a body of research to support these architectures (probabilistic, 4D, trajectory analyses, probabilistic safety and performance metrics, and a toolbox to be used by us and others in the implementation of future architectures that may result in actual implementation of air/space traffic control procedures. Third and lastly, the team will produce, within the context of FACET, a prototype implementation that can be transitioned to the FAA so that its staff can use it to answer a number of questions / scenarios that may come up as the field (and frequency) of commercial space transportation evolves.


Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01666237
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Federal Aviation Administration Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 10-C-CST-SU-005, 10-C-CST-SU-012 15-C-CST-SU-03, 10-C-CST-SU-019, 10-C-CST-SU-021, 10-C-CST-SU-025, 10-C-CST-SU-032, 10-C-CST-SU-047
  • Files: RIP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Apr 17 2018 12:35PM