Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .




EARTH OBSERVATION
NASA Tool Helps Airliners Minimize Weather Delays
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Oct 20, 2014


PDRC will allow more aircraft to depart within a given timeframe. Image courtesy NASA.

In the heat of a summer afternoon, a line of thunderstorms develops in the skies over North Texas and threatens to wreak havoc with the timely flow of air traffic headed toward or away from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

One look at the weather radar tells the grim story: airlines will lose money as jets burn extra fuel to avoid the storms and aggravated passengers will miss connections as flights are delayed. No one will be happy.

Fortunately, a NASA-developed tool designed to alleviate some of those weather-induced interruptions and resulting frustrations is testing well in ongoing field trials that involve American Airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Known as Dynamic Weather Routes, or DWR, the computer software tool is programmed to constantly analyze air traffic throughout the National Airspace System, along with the ever-shifting movements of weather severe enough to require an airliner to make a course change.

When the DWR tool finds an opportunity for an airliner to fly more efficiently to its destination, saving time and money, while also remaining a safe distance from the storm, the computer rings an alert to an airline flight dispatcher that sounds like "cha-ching."

No kidding, and it's totally apt.

American Airlines has been evaluating DWR since 2012 and noted, for example, that on one flight of a Boeing 777 flying from Dallas/Fort Worth to Buenos Aires, the software tool helped shave 26 minutes from the original planned route around a line of thunderstorms.

With an average fuel burn rate of 14,500 pounds/hour, the estimated savings for that flight was approximately 6,283 pounds, or more than $2,500 in fuel costs.

For another American flight, a Boeing MD82 flying from Dallas/Fort Worth to New Orleans, the tool helped save 31 flying minutes or about 3,600 pounds of fuel, or about $1,400 in fuel costs.

"The feedback we've received from American Airlines has been very favorable," said David McNally, lead engineer for DWR at NASA's Ames Research Center in California.

"Analysis of the DWR test data indicates there was an estimated savings of 3,355 flying minutes for 538 American Airlines flights from July 2012 through September 2014, or about 6.2 minutes per flight on average," McNally said.

If those same numbers held for the approximately 15,000 flights flying through North Texas in 2013 for which DWR identified reroute opportunities, the savings in flight time could add up to about 100,000 flying minutes - or more than two months' worth of fuel burning and time not wasted in the air.

"As much as I love flying, like most people I don't want to spend any more time getting to where I'm going than I have to. This DWR tool, developed and tested by NASA in partnership with American Airlines and the FAA, is going to benefit everyone who flies," said NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden.

Bolden, along with other NASA managers and representatives from the FAA, American Airlines and the Dallas/Fort Worth International airport, recently toured some of the Texas facilities where DWR is being evaluated and refined.

Much of the work on DWR, and other air traffic management tools, takes place at the North Texas Research Station (NTX), a joint NASA/FAA laboratory located near the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, and across the street from where American Airlines is headquartered.

Inside the non-descript concrete building, NASA's aeronautical innovators work with the FAA to develop and implement advanced concepts and technologies required for the Next Generation Air Transportation System, or NextGen.

"With the ability to work closely with the FAA, airport and airline personnel, as well as having access to the area air traffic and weather data, the NTX laboratory is an ideal location for testing NASA's air traffic management decision support tools," said Shawn Engelland, a NASA engineer stationed at NTX.

Another example of the work coming out of the NTX is an air traffic management tool known as Precision Departure Release Capability, or PDRC, which also was showcased during the recent visit by Bolden and others to the laboratory.

With PDRC controllers will be better able to predict exactly when an airliner can depart its gate so as to taxi, take off and smoothly join with the busy air traffic lanes overhead. The tool is intended to help improve the overall efficiency of air traffic management by reducing missed or delayed departures and allowing more aircraft to depart within a given timeframe.

Tests of the software conducted during the past few years show that PDRC could help fill as much as 80 percent of the slots in the constant overhead stream of air traffic that usually go empty because of timing issues on the ground.

NASA turned PDRC over to the FAA in 2013 for additional evaluation and eventual implementation.

"The FAA and NASA have a long history of collaborating on technologies that enhance safety and improve efficiency," said FAA Southwest Regional Administrator Kelvin L. Solco. "Some of these tools are in use on a daily basis in North Texas, helping the FAA to deliver NextGen air traffic control now."

Air traffic management software tools such as DWR and PDRC are developed by NASA's Airspace Systems Program, and support the agency's goal to facilitate safe, efficient growth in global operations that will enable full deployment of NextGen in the United States by 2035.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
NASA
Earth Observation News - Suppiliers, Technology and Application






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





EARTH OBSERVATION
Chinese scientist proposes new scientific satellites
Beijing (XNA) Oct 16, 2014
A Chinese scientist has proposed a series of satellites to monitor "global change," or planetary-scale changes concerning the Earth. Speaking at the ongoing Asia-Pacific Remote Sensing Symposium in Beijing, Guo Huadong, dean of the Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, suggested six satellites to monitor global change as well as observation tec ... read more


EARTH OBSERVATION
China's ailing moon rover weakening

NASA Mission Finds Widespread Evidence of Young Lunar Volcanism

Russian Luna-25 Mission to Cost Billions

New Batch of Lunar Soil to be Delivered to Earth in 2023-2025

EARTH OBSERVATION
Mars One -- and done?

MAVEN spacecraft's first look at Mars holds surprises

NASA's Opportunity Rover Gets Panorama Image at 'Wdowiak Ridge'

Comet's Close Encounter 'One in a Million'

EARTH OBSERVATION
"Houston: We Have A Problem...But No Worries, Our Virtual Therapist Is On It"

Space Trips To Change World For Better: Virgin Galactic CEO

NASA Exercises Authority to Proceed with Commercial Crew Contracts

Li pledges China will boost innovation, creativity

EARTH OBSERVATION
China to launch new marine surveillance satellites in 2019

China Successfully Orbits Experimental Satellite

China's first space lab in operation for over 1000 days

China Exclusive: Mars: China's next goal?

EARTH OBSERVATION
ISS Astronauts Wrap Up Preps for Wednesday Spacewalk

Progress-M Cargo Ship To Undock From ISS On Oct 27

A Different Kind of Green Movement: Seedling Growth in Space

ISS Spacewalkers Replace Power Regulator, Move Equipment

EARTH OBSERVATION
Argentina launches geostationary satellite

Arianespace's December mission for DIRECTV-14 and GSAT-16 satellites in process

Inquiry reveals design stage shortcoming in Galileo navigation system

Soyuz Flight VS09 Report

EARTH OBSERVATION
Getting To Know Super-Earths

Astronomers Spot Faraway Uranus-Like Planet

NASA's Hubble Maps the Temperature and Water Vapor on an Extreme Exoplanet

Hubble project maps temperature, water vapor on wild exoplanet

EARTH OBSERVATION
Engineers find a way to win in laser performance by losing

Unstoppable magnetoresistance

Sticky business: bonding ultrastable space missions

Tailored flexible illusion coatings hide objects from detection




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.