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NASA Ames and Langley Research Centers Conduct Cross-Center High Density Vertiplex (HDV) Research Simulation
(Apr 14, 2023)
The High Density Vertiplex (HDV) subproject focuses on urban air mobility operations in the terminal area. In a cross-center simulation activity, NASA Ames and Langley research centers tested displays, tools, procedures, vertiport availability management and landing services in nominal and off-nominal operational contexts. At NASA Langley, up to 5 ground control stations hosted pilots who responded to use case events, such as vertiport closures where pilots executed route deviations and speed changes in coordination with a fleet manager who was positioned at NASA Ames. A third position, the vertiport manager, was hosted at Langley with a shadow position hosted at Ames to monitor ongoing activity and to provide access to developers for troubleshooting. The responsibility of vertiport  managers in the current scenarios was to close the vertiport in response to off-nominal events; the delay imposed by the closure served as a prompt for the fleet manager to engage automated tools to identify new routes to an alternate vertriport, provide clearance to the flight crew to reduce speed or pursue a missed approach procedure to absorb the delay. Two services were provided to support the use cases exercised in HDV; this included the Vertiport Automation Service (VAS) which provided automated landing clearances to the aircraft operators, and an automated air traffic manager call the Provider of UAM services (PSU) which vetted new and modified operations for conflicts. The simulation airspace was modeled over a test range located at NASA Langley where upcoming live flight tests will be conducted, applying the testbed developed in this simulation. That flight test is scheduled for early May 2023.

Data collected will be analyzed to support paper topics that include initial roles and responsibility definitions for the vertiport manager, and an evaluation of the tools and displays for the fleet manager and pilot workstations. An overall simulation capabilities paper describing the HDV subproject goals and objectives as well as capabilities exercised in the current scenarios will be submitted to an upcoming conference.
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Jessica Nowinski
Last Updated: March 18, 2024