Terminal Area Aircraft Simulation Tools Evaluation

Project Category: 
Operations
Project Number: 
39

Continuous Descent Arrival, also called Continuous Decent Approach, is a procedure where aircraft descend directly from a relatively high altitude without the traditional leveling off in a series of steps. Currently, CDA is implemented in conjunction with Area Navigation Standard Arrival Route (RNAV STAR) development and requires analysis and guidance for the development of the approach's vertical profile. The FAA RNAV office has requested an additional module to its Terminal Area Route Generation Evaluation and Traffic Simulation program, a requirement for RNAV procedure development. This additional module would be a procedure design tool for incorporating vertical profiles which include CDA criteria for altitude and speeds. The MITRE Corp. has proposed the development of an flight management simulation tool (MFAST) module to support the FAA RNAV office request. The FAA AEE would like to ensure that the module produces the desired criteria for the RNAV STAR vertical profiles. Project 39 will evaluate MFAST by using output from its Tool for Analysis of Separation and Throughput.

Anticipated outcome

Evaluation of the MFAST module, and, if necessary, recommendations for improvement.

Participating university

Georgia Institute of Technology

Lead investigator

John-Paul Clarke, Associate Professor, School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, johnpaul@gatech.edu

FAA program manager

Christopher Dorbian Christopher.Dorbian@faa.gov
Pat Moran (past program manager)