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May 1, 2001

Victoria Kushnir

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Phone: 650/604-0176 or 604-9000



An automated traffic management system developed by NASA to alleviate congestion at the nation’s busiest airports is now available for business application and commercial licensing.

Scientists developed the system, called TRAJECT, at NASA’s Ames Research Center in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, to improve the scheduling and directing of airplanes, boats, trucks and railroad cars. Engineers tested TRAJECT at Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport for the 1996 Olympics, and the system has been used there operationally ever since. During a technology licensing briefing at the airport on May 30, NASA researchers will discuss potential commercial applications of the system, explaining how it can benefit airports, seaports, factories and warehouses. Attendees will also get a glimpse of this informational "tool" at work in Atlanta’s airport, the busiest in the nation.

"Ames originally developed TRAJECT as a real-time airport surface movement advisor to electronically interconnect data from the air traffic control tower, ramp control, airline data and airline operations. This facilitates information sharing and improves taxi queuing," said Jon Hagstrom, of Ames’ Computational Sciences Division. "By reducing airport departure taxi times, TRAJECT may save airlines tens of million of dollars annually," he added.

According to its developers, the TRAJECT software tool has application in a wide range of situations, not just airports. The system can receive, process and manage real-time information from a variety of data sources, they say. This capability allows the software to automate the scheduling of the movement of multiple items -- boats, trucks, railroad cars, containers and others -- in ports, shipping yards, docks and a host of similar environments.

"The TRAJECT system combines data basing, data fusing and artificial intelligence to make inferences based on numerous information streams from ground operations," explained Brian Glass, Ames’ technology team lead. "This system is the only operational tool of its kind," added systems engineer Chris Leidich. "Just as important, it has already proven its amazing robustness and reliability at the Atlanta airport," he said.

NASA Ames is now inviting commercial businesses to consider how this tool might help them meet their industry’s scheduling needs. Interested companies and individuals can access information about registration for the Atlanta briefing online at:

Final day to register is May 10.

NASA is strongly committed to transferring the innovative products of its research and technology development to the private sector. To that end, NASA has established a Commercial Technology Office to facilitate the licensing and transfer of NASA technologies. Information about the Commercial Technology Office at NASA Ames is available at its web site at:

More information about NASA Ames’ Computational Sciences research can be found at:


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