Computational Assessment of Authority and Responsibility in Air Traffic Concepts of Operation

TitleComputational Assessment of Authority and Responsibility in Air Traffic Concepts of Operation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsPritchett, A., R. P. Bhattacharyya, and M. IJtsma
JournalJournal of Air Transportation
KeywordsAir Traffic Management, function allocation, Modeling and Simulation

This paper proposes a systematic approach to examine air traffic concepts of operation whose degree of innovation includes the potential for novel allocations of authority and responsibility between agents.  The paper starts by demonstrating how concepts of operation can be modeled around the construct of actions, with accurate models of aircraft dynamics included as a common “truth.”  A case study is provided in this demonstration, examining merging and spacing of aircraft during arrival.  Then, this paper discusses the specific fast-time computational simulation framework used here, and then applies the framework to the case study to illustrate how metrics of emergent behaviors can be collected via the simulation.  Analysis of these metrics is framed within the construct of the coherence of the function allocation.  Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion of further applications of this method of framing and analyzing concepts of operation, and further extensions to the method. This systematic, computational approach provides more definitive insights than a sole reliance on SMEs’ estimates or extrapolations of the merits and concerns with a concept of operations.  Likewise, this approach can quickly test a wide range of concepts of operation.

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