Integrated Weather and Air Traffic Control Decision Support Facilities

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To support its work on improvements in flight safety and efficiency for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Lincoln Laboratory established an integrated weather and air traffic decision support facility.

The facility features a real-time operations center for various live prototype tests, including the FAA's Corridor Integrated Weather System that provides year-round depictions of storms for aviation traffic flow managers, controller supervisors, airline dispatchers, and other aviation users in the continental United States. The facility is also connected to the FAA's Enhanced Traffic Management System, which supplies flight-track information for all aircraft in the country. Data plots showing the interaction of aircraft with weather at large airports in the northeast are automatically created nightly and available on a website the next morning along with complete archived data from the previous day. Offices for the system monitors are adjacent to the Operations Center, so that staff can quickly access the system for analysis or repairs.

Demonstrations, simulations, and large system tests are held in the Air Traffic Management (ATM) Laboratory in the same building. In the ATM Laboratory, extensive live surveillance feeds are available. Systems hosted in this laboratory include the Runway Status Lights system installed at Dallas/Fort Worth and Los Angeles airports, and an air traffic control Tower Flight Data Manager system that provides advanced decision support to enhance the efficiency of arrival, departure, and surface traffic flows. Collocation of the ATM Laboratory with the Enhanced Regional Situation Awareness Development Lab also enables data-driven next-generation architecture studies and concept development for national security issues such as airport security and air security services. The computer room houses a 210-node computer cluster and 300 terabytes of data storage used to keep the real-time systems running, plus another large complement of machines used for analysis

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