An Integrated Turbulence Hazard Decision Support Tool for Controllers and Dispatchers

Period of Performance: 01/01/2006 - 12/31/2006

$60K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aerotech Research
11836 Fishing Point Drive, Suite 200
Newport News, VA 23606
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Abstract

Every day, turbulence has an adverse effect on aircraft operations and capacity of the NAS, costing the airline industry at least $100 million annually in operational inefficiencies, unscheduled maintenance, and injuries. A contributor to these costs is that controllers' and dispatchers' current tactical knowledge of turbulence hazards relies heavily on verbal pilot reports of turbulence, which are often inconsistent, late, and subjective. AeroTech will develop a turbulence hazard decision support tool (TurbDST) that will enhance controllers' and dispatchers' situational awareness of the location and severity of turbulence; by providing real-time quantitative turbulence information down-linked from aircraft. TurbDST will enhance tactical and strategic decision making with regard to airspace usage and aircraft routing by enabling users to predict the effect of the reported/detected turbulence on aircraft whose route may take them through that location. With enhanced turbulence knowledge, collaboration with pilots regarding route changes can be improved and cost savings to the airlines can be gained through more efficient and safer aircraft routing. Phase I will prove technical feasibility of integrating the turbulence information and will develop, using controller and dispatcher inputs, CONOPS and requirements for the TurbDST. By Phase III, a meaningful controller/dispatcher TurbDST will be developed, tested, and evaluated.