Convective Weather Implications for NASA Advanced Airspace Concept (AAC)

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Thursday, 2 February 2006
Convective Weather Implications for NASA Advanced Airspace Concept (AAC)
Exhibit Hall A2 (Georgia World Congress Center)
John Andrews, MIT, Lexington, MA; and J. Welch and E. Shank

The AAC is expected to allow safe air traffic management with several times today's peak traffic density, several times larger en route sectors, and an order of magnitude faster re-planning. These AAC attributes are well matched to the convective weather problem. Avoiding storm route blockage requires increased aircraft density, more flexible routing, and easier access to adjacent sector airspace to route traffic around weather cells. Lincoln Laboratory has developed algorithms for using storm height, intensity, and other observables to automatically distinguish between flyable and blocked routes. We are using these weather algorithms in conjunction with archived storm data to determine the required improvements in density, sector size, and re-planning speed of the AAC to enable it to help aircraft to safely avoid hazardous weather while minimizing storm-induced reductions in traffic flow. The results may provide a rationale for an accelerated AAC design program focusing on today's most critical delay problem.