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Graceful Degradation of Air Traffic Operations: Airspace Sensitivity to Degraded Surveillance Systems

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2 Author(s)
Maxime Gariel ; Sch. of Aerosp. Eng., Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA ; Eric Feron

The introduction of new technologies and concepts of operation in the air transportation system is not possible unless they can be proven not to adversely affect the system operation under not only nominal but also degraded conditions. In extreme scenarios, degraded operations due to partial or complete technological failures should never endanger system safety. Many past system evolutions, whether ground-based or airborne, have been based on trial and error, and system safety was addressed only after a specific event yielded dramatic or near-dramatic consequences. Future system evolutions, however, must leverage available computation, prior knowledge, and abstract reasoning to anticipate all possible system degradations and prove that such degradations are graceful and safe. This paper is concerned with the graceful degradation of high-density structured arrival traffic against partial or complete surveillance failures. It is shown that for equal performance requirements, some traffic configurations might be easier to handle than others, thereby offering a quantitative perspective on these traffic configurations' ability to ldquogracefully degrade.rdquo To support our work, we also introduce a new conflict resolution algorithm aimed at solving conflicts involving many aircraft when aircraft position information is in the process of degrading.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:96 ,  Issue: 12 )