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Jonas Dino
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
Phone: 650/604-5612 or 650/604-9000

October 26, 2005
NASA Honors Innovations in Air Traffic Management
As the skies become increasingly crowded, software developed by NASA is helping aircraft fly safer and more efficiently.

This week, the Multi-center Traffic Management Advisor (McTMA) Development Team at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., received the Increase Capacity and Mobility Award at NASA's Turning Goals into Reality awards ceremony. The team was recognized for developing a decision-support tool that helps reduce air traffic delays in highly congested and complex airspace, such as the northeast corridor of the United States. A complex airspace is one in which multiple facilities with interdependent traffic flows are responsible for routing air traffic to a congested airport.

"McTMA is a significant technical achievement toward NASA's goal of increasing capacity, mobility and enabling more people to travel faster and farther with fewer delays," said Michael Landis, chief of the Airspace Systems Projects Office at NASA Ames.

The purpose of McTMA is to help traffic management coordinators plan and manage streams of air traffic into select airspace, as well as into busy airport facilities that receive air traffic from two or more Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) en-route centers. McTMA builds on NASA Ames’ Center-TRACON (terminal radar approach control) Automation System Traffic Management Advisor and its single-center arrival management orientation to enable traffic to be scheduled from multiple facilities in a coordinated manner.

Components key to the software's capabilities are a new data-sharing architecture and a 'distributed scheduler'. The ability to share information across air traffic control sectors or centers allows air traffic managers to anticipate changes in traffic flow at their facility. The distributed scheduler enables traffic to be coordinated concurrently from multiple facilities.

With air travel expected to double within the next 20 years, NASA is working with the FAA and industry partners to develop and test an expanding suite of technologies designed to address this growth.

The seventh annual Turning Goals into Reality awards ceremony, hosted by NASA’s Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, took place at Cleveland’s Great Lakes Science Center. NASA recognized teams whose work has made major strides in aviation safety, protecting the environment, increasing air space capacity and mobility, and improving national security. Additionally, an award was given for inspiring students and engaging the public.

For a list of the Turning Goals into Reality winning teams and synopses of their accomplishments, visit:

For more information about the 2005 Turning Goals into Reality awards, visit:

For more information about the Multi-center Traffic Management Advisor tool, visit:

For information about NASA's aeronautics programs, visit:

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit:


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