En-route air traffic optimization under nominal and perturbed conditions, on a 3D data-based network flow model
Marzuoli, Aude Claire
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Air Traffic Management (ATM) aims at ensuring safe and efficient movement of aircraft in the airspace. The National Airspace System is currently undergoing a comprehensive overhaul known as NextGen. With the predicted growth of air transportation, providing traffic flow managers with the tools to support decision making is essential. These tools should aid in accommodating the air traffic throughput increase, while limiting controller workload and ensuring high safety levels. In the National Airspace System (NAS), the goal of en-route Traffic Flow Management (TFM) is to balance air traffic demand against available airspace capacity, in order to ensure a safe and expeditious flow of aircraft, both under nominal and perturbed conditions. The objective of this thesis is to develop a better understanding of how to analyze, model and simulate air traffic in a given airspace, under both nominal and degraded conditions. First, a new framework for en-route Traffic Flow Management and Airspace Health Monitoring is developed. It is based on a data-driven approach for air traffic flow modeling using historical data. This large-scale 3D flow network of the Cleveland center airspace provides valuable insight on airspace complexity. A linear formulation for optimizing en-route Air Traffic is proposed. It takes into account a controller taskload model based on flow geometry, in order to estimate airspace capacity. The simulations run demonstrate the importance of sector constraints and traffic demand patterns in estimating the throughput of an airspace. To analyze airspace degradation, weather blockage maps based on vertically integrated liquid (VIL) are incorporated in the model, representing weather perturbations on the same data set used to compute the flows. Comparing the weather blockages and the network model of the airspace provides means of quantifying airspace degradation. Simulations under perturbed conditions are then run according to different objectives. The results of the simulations are compared with the data from these specific days, to identify the advantages and drawbacks of the present model.