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book coverAssessing the Research and Development Plan for the Next Generation Air Transportation SystemSummary of a Workshop   (ASEB)
Released 2008-09-26

The U.S. aviation industry, airline passengers, aircraft pilots, airports, and airline companies are all facing challenges. The air transportation system is experiencing unprecedented and increasing levels of use. The federal government understands the critical need to update the U.S. air transportation system, and plans to implement the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) by 2025. This system is an example of active networking technology that updates itself with real-time shared information and tailors itself to the individual needs of all U.S. aircraft, stressing adaptability by enabling aircraft to immediately adjust to ever-changing factors. On April 1-2, 2008, a workshop was held at the National Academies to gather reactions to the research and development aspects of the Joint Planning and Development Office's baseline Integrated Work Plan (IWP), which is designed to increase the efficiency of airport and air space use in the United States. This book provides a summary of the workshop, which included presentations on the following topics: Airport operations and support; Environmental management; Air navigation operations, Air navigation support, and flight operation support; Positioning, navigation, and timing services and surveillance; Weather information services; Safety management; Net-centric infrastructure services and operations; and Layered adaptive security.

book coverNASA Aeronautics ResearchAn Assessment   (ASEB)
Released 2008-07-30

In 2006, the NRC published a Decadal Survey of Civil Aeronautics: Foundation for the Future, which set out six strategic objectives for the next decade of civil aeronautics research and technology. To determine how NASA is implementing the decadal survey, Congress mandated in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Act of 2005 that the NRC carry out a review of those efforts. Among other things, this report presents an assessment of how well NASA's research portfolio is addressing the recommendations and high priority R&T challenges identified in the Decadal Survey; how well NASA's aeronautic research portfolio is addressing the aeronautics research requirements; and whether the nation will have the skilled workforce and research facilities to meet the first two items.

book coverWake TurbulenceAn Obstacle to Increased Air Traffic Capacity   (ASEB)
Released 2008-03-27

Without major changes, the current air transportation system will be unable to accommodate the expected increase in demand by 2025. One proposal to address this problem is to use the Global Positioning System to enable aircraft to fly more closely spaced. This approach, however, might be limited by the wake turbulence problem, which can be a safety hazard when smaller aircraft follow relatively larger aircraft too closely. To examine how this potential hazard might be reduced, Congress in 2005 directed NASA to request a study from the NRC to assess the federal wake turbulence R&D program. This book provides a description of the problem, an assessment of the organizational challenges to addressing wake turbulence, an analysis of the technical challenges in wake turbulence, and a proposal for a wake turbulence program plan. A series of recommendations for addressing the wake turbulence challenge are also given.