ROCKVILLE, Maryland - August 5, 2014 - Intelligent Automation, Inc. (IAI) has been awarded a $1.5 million contract from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), under the SBIR Phase II Select program, to develop a comprehensive Metroplex planning system to help coordinate flights between the enroute and Metroplex domains, and manage surface traffic, using Next-Generation Air Transportation System (NEXTGEN) concepts.Futuristic tools to increase the efficiency of air traffic control systems must deal with the complexity caused by a mixture of different aircraft types and business models, increased traffic volume, and varying aircraft performance. To address this need, IAI’s key innovation in this effort is the development of a Metroplex-based arrival, departure, and surface optimization system called MetroSim. MetroSim will allow airport planners, traffic flow management experts, airline dispatchers, air traffic controllers, and pilots to reduce uncertainty in operations planning, recover quickly from disruptive events, maintain high throughput in adverse weather conditions, and handle uncertainties associated with irregular operations. Initial development of the tool will be focused on the New York TRACON (N90) environment, including full adaptation of Metrosim for the John F. Kennedy International Airport, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia Airport, Teterboro Airport, and the Long Island Mac Arthur Airport.
Integral to this effort are also innovations in the MetroSim software architecture. In order to manage the high volume of flights in the New York airspace effectively, and simultaneously improve the arrival stream, departure stream, and surface operations, the MetroSim architecture will contain a collection of different tools that will perform analytic computations, physics-based computations, and mathematical optimization calculations. MetroSim will also interface with existing NASA and FAA terminal and surface planning tools. These tools will interoperate in a distributed computational environment using thin interfaces, with minimal data shared between the tools, and limited reliance on a centralized database, thus enabling coordination of the tools in the distributed environment. The MetroSim architecture will allow NASA researchers to reconfigure or, if desired, to replace, any one of the MetroSim components in order to experiment with new flight management techniques or new air traffic control concepts.
"Intelligent Automation is excited to have an opportunity to develop new metroplex-wide planning and optimization tools for NASA. As required by the NASA Phase II Select program, IAI’s effort will include significant test, demonstration, and evaluation activities leading to high readiness levels for NASA utilization” said Dr. Vikram Manikonda, President and CEO of IAI.