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The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) is a proposed transformation of air traffic operations to meet future growth. Under the NextGen, aircraft are expected to perform air traffic management tasks such as flight plan changes, trajectory prediction, and conflict detection. We propose a trajectory prediction algorithm for the NextGen that utilizes an aircraft dynamics model to account for changes in aircraft flight modes. This model is useful for short-term trajectory prediction and is able to account for the correlation in prediction errors due to aircraft maneuvers. We also utilize verified or inferred intents of aircraft to improve the trajectory prediction in the long term. We then propose a computationally efficient analytical algorithm to compute the conflict probability between any pair of maneuvering or nonmaneuvering aircraft. We demonstrate the computational efficiency and the accuracy of the proposed algorithm through various illustrative air traffic scenarios.
Date of Publication: Dec. 2008