Conceptual Model For Collision Detection And Avoidance For Runway Incursion Prevention

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Electrical and Computer Engineering


Doctor of Engineering

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The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), numerous corporate entities, and research facilities have each come together to determine ways to make air travel safer and more efficient. These efforts have resulted in the development of a concept known as the Next Generation (Next Gen) of Aircraft or Next Gen. The Next Gen concept promises to be a clear departure from the way in which aircraft operations are performed today. The Next Gen initiatives require that modifications are made to the existing National Airspace System (NAS) concept of operations, system level requirements, software (SW) and hardware (HW) requirements, SW and HW designs and implementations. A second example of the changes in the NAS is the shift away from air traffic controllers having the responsibility for separation assurance. In the proposed new scheme of free flight, each aircraft would be responsible for assuring that it is safely separated from surrounding aircraft. Free flight would allow the separation minima for enroute aircraft to be reduced from 2000 nautical miles (nm) to 1000 nm. Simply put "Free Flight is a concept of air traffic management that permits pilots and controllers to share information and work together to manage air traffic from pre-flight through arrival without compromising safety [107]." The primary goal of this research project was to create a conceptual model that embodies the essential ingredients needed for a collision detection and avoidance system. This system was required to operate in two modes: air traffic controller's perspective and pilot's perspective. The secondary goal was to demonstrate that the technologies, procedures, and decision logic embedded in the conceptual model were able to effectively detect and avoid collision risks from both perspectives. Embodied in the conceptual model are five distinct software modules: Data Acquisition, State Processor, Projection, Collision Detection, and Alerting and Resolution. The underlying algorithms in the Projection module are linear projection and Kalman filtering which are used to estimate the future state of the aircraft. The Resolution and Alerting module is comprised of two algorithms: a generic alerting algorithm and the potential fields algorithm [71]. The conceptual model was created using Enterprise Architect ® and MATLAB ® was used to code the methods and to simulate conflict scenarios.