Future Air Traffic Management Concepts Evaluation Tool (FACET) is a system of software for performing computational simulations for evaluating advanced concepts of advanced air-traffic management. FACET includes a program that generates a graphical user interface plus programs and databases that implement computational models of weather, airspace, airports, navigation aids, aircraft performance, and aircraft trajectories. Examples of concepts studied by use of FACET include aircraft self-separation for free flight; prediction of air-traffic-controller workload; decision support for direct routing; integration of spacecraftlaunch operations into the U.S. national airspace system; and traffic-flow-management using rerouting, metering, and ground delays. Aircraft can be modeled as flying along either flight-plan routes or great-circle routes as they climb, cruise, and descend according to their individual performance models. The FACET software is modular and is written in the Java and C programming languages. The architecture of FACET strikes a balance between flexibility and fidelity; as a consequence, FACET can be used to model system- wide airspace operations over the contiguous U.S., involving as many as 10,000 aircraft, all on a single desktop or laptop computer running any of a variety of operating systems. Two notable applications of FACET include: (1) reroute conformance monitoring algorithms that have been implemented in one of the Federal Aviation Administration's nationally deployed, real-time, operational systems; and (2) the licensing and integration of FACET with the commercially available Flight Explorer, which is an Internetbased, real-time flight-tracking system.

This program was written by Banavar Sridhar, Karl Bilimoria, and Shon Grabbe of Ames Research Center and Gano Chatterji, Kapil Sheth, and Daniel Mulfinger of Raytheon Co. For further information access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Software category.

This invention is owned by NASA and a patent application has been filed. Inquiries concerning rights for the commercial use of this invention should be addressed to the Ames Technology Partnerships Division at (650) 604-2954. Refer to ARC-14653-1.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the September, 2006 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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