NextGen Taking Shape at Embry-Riddle
The NextGen testbed facility at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach campus is gearing up for a demonstration in November that will advance en route automation modernization (ERAM) and traffic management advisor (TMA) capabilities. ERAM, a replacement for the FAA’s Host computer, is expected to be installed at all 20 U.S. en route centers by 2010. TMA, a software tool that helps controllers sequence en route aircraft, is deployed at all 20 centers and 33 of the 35 busiest airports. According to Embry-Riddle director for federal research programs Wade Lester, the upcoming demonstration involves overlaying near-term forecast weather “polygons” on ERAM and current Nexrad weather on TMA to assist controllers in routing aircraft around weather more efficiently. The NextGen test team is also working on integrating ERAM and TMA to allow seamless operation between the two different systems, in addition to integration with Eurocontrol’s air traffic management system to ensure international flights inbound to the U.S. show up on the new ATC system. The FAA, which is funding the testbed, will meet with Embry-Riddle researchers in December to establish more NextGen developmental goals.