Center-TRACON Automation System (CTAS)
Updated:10:59 AM May 03, 2012
To create a simulation environment that closely resembles ATC, our lab has created a connection to our instance of NASA Ames Research Centerís Center-TRACON Automation System (CTAS). CTAS uses detailed aircraft performance characteristics, weather data, and Host Computer System data (HCS) to calculate a 4D-trajectory (time, latitude, longitude, and altitude). NASA has developed CTAS as a set of tools to help air traffic controllers manage complex air traffic flows to reduce delays and increase safety. DESIREE, our air traffic control simulator, connects to CTAS as if it is the operational Host Computer System. We have used the Traffic Management Advisor (TMA) tool in our generic center airspace to study how the collocation of several automation tools may affect the way air traffic controllers perform their job. TMA helps air traffic controllers in managing time-based metering into an airport. At the sector, enroute controllers receive a TMA-list on their radar scope that displays the delays they need to absorb for certain aircraft to maintain adequate spacing.
We have also worked with NASA Ames Research Center to enable our simulator to connect to CTAS as if it is the native CTAS display. Our simulator then uses the data CTAS sends us to build an innovative human computer interface that integrates data provided by automation tools into the main air traffic control display. DESIREE can use data provided by any of the CTAS tools to augment the air traffic control display.