Shadow Mode Assessment Using Realistic Technologies for the National Airspace System (SMART NAS)

SMART NAS is an important component in NASA’s research to transform the national airspace system. Under the transformational concepts, functions need to be demonstrated in an integrated fashion so as to gain confidence in the entire system. A shadow-mode NAS will be developed that takes a one-way feed from the NAS and its inputs (e.g., weather, flight plans, airport arrival rates, system constraints, etc.), but runs the entire system, or parts of it, using proposed concepts, air-ground architectures, and technologies in order to demonstrate their performance and to validate that the assembled technologies work seamlessly.  This capability will allow integrated, real-time and/or fast-time assessment of gate-to-gate operations and their performance using real-world NAS inputs. SMART NAS would allow for plug-and-play of different technologies to operate in combined real, virtual, and constructive manners as dictated by the study goals.

SMART NAS offers the aviation community enhanced capability to evaluate improvements to air traffic management. Early applications will likely include trajectory-based operations, integrated arrival-departure management, and integration of unmanned aircraft into the NAS. The goal is to accelerate the deployment of aviation technologies for the benefit of aircraft operators, the Federal Aviation Administration, and passengers. With this vision, SMART NAS will be used to:

1.examine new and advanced concepts and technologies in an integrated fashion with real, virtual, and constructive data and constraints, and

2.conduct “what-if” analysis for current operations using real-time decision making to ensure the most efficient NAS-wide operations.