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Airspace Performance Observations of Scalable Autonomous Operations in a High Density Vertiplex Simulation  (2023)
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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) High Density Vertiplex (HDV) sub-project aims to develop and demonstrate progressive automation technologies that contribute to the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) concept. Using Human-and-Hardware-In-The-Loop (HHITL) techniques, HDV demonstrates initial vertiport automation services at vertiports with increased air traffic volume in both simulated and live test environments. In 2023, the Scalable Autonomous Operations (SAO) simulation was conducted in which prototype vertiport, airspace, and ground control station technologies were assessed on technical performance. During the SAO simulation, an observational study captured an initial impression of the HDV airspace performance, potential disruptions to the airspace, and highlighted some capability and procedural gaps. Observations took place in two parts. In the first part, five scenario use cases (Nominal, Missed Approach, Speed Change, Divert, and Multi-Aircraft Divert) were conducted with three human operator roles (Vertiport Manager, Fleet Manager, and Ground Control Station Operator). Researchers collected metrics on throughput, closest point of approach, and airborne delay. In the second part of the study, the Missed Approach scenario was observed under three traffic density levels (20, 40, and 60 operations per hour) to challenge the automation to correctly identify slots in the vertiport arrival schedule. The results showed that the automation successfully found a slot for the Missed Approach vehicle in the 20 operations per hour condition, after some delay it found one in the 40 condition, and it did not find one in the 60 condition. The observations of technical and human performance throughout the five scenario use cases and the Missed Approach case study indicated that for HDV to increase traffic density and maintain or increase throughput, airspace monitoring services should be able to detect and resolve conflicts between aircraft. Furthermore, the roles and responsibilities of human operators need additional definition when it comes to responding to vehicle conflicts.
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AAM, advanced, air, air, density, HDV, high, mobility, mobility, UAM, urban, vertiplex
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42nd Digital Avionics Systems Conference Proceedings, Barcelona, Spain
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Adobe PDF Icon  Hodell_etal_DASC_2023.pdf (Download Acrobat Reader Click to download Adobe Acrabat Reader)
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Jessica Nowinski
Last Updated: August 15, 2019