Feasibility of a Networked Air Traffic Infrastructure Validation Environment for Advanced NextGen Concepts

Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) applications reliant upon aircraft data links such as Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) offer a sweeping modernization of the National Airspace System (NAS), but the aviation stakeholder community has not yet established a positive business case for equipage and message content standards remain in flux. It is necessary to transition promising Air Traffic Management (ATM) Concepts of Operations (ConOps) from simulation environments to full-scale flight tests in order to validate user benefits and solidify message standards. However, flight tests are prohibitively expensive and message standards for Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) systems cannot support many advanced ConOps. It is therefore proposed to simulate future aircraft surveillance and communications equipage and employ an existing commercial data link to exchange data during dedicated flight tests. This capability, referred to as the Networked Air Traffic Infrastructure Validation Environment (NATIVE), would emulate aircraft data links such as ADS-B using in-flight Internet and easily-installed test equipment. By utilizing low-cost equipment that is easy to install and certify for testing, advanced ATM ConOps can be validated, message content standards can be solidified, and new standards can be established through full-scale flight trials without necessary or expensive equipage or extensive flight test preparation. This paper presents results of a feasibility study of the NATIVE concept. To determine requirements, six NATIVE design configurations were developed for two NASA ConOps that rely on ADS-B. The performance characteristics of three existing in-flight Internet services were investigated to determine whether performance is adequate to support the concept. Next, a study of requisite hardware and software was conducted to examine whether and how the NATIVE concept might be realized. Finally, to determine a business case, economic factors were evaluated and a preliminary cost-benefit analysis was performed.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 10p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01529362
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NF1676L-16110
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 30 2014 9:41AM