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Jamis: is this the future of air traffic control?
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July 27, 2017, 10:43:48 AM *
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Author Topic: Jamis: is this the future of air traffic control?  (Read 398 times)
MillCreek
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« on: May 19, 2017, 09:10:35 AM »

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39960993

I wonder if ground control is also handled by this system.
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Chris
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 10:13:30 AM »

Question from someone with admittedly limited knowledge of how it works, how essential is it to have local control of air traffic, both on the ground at the airport and in the air around the airport?
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MechAg94
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2017, 11:16:17 AM »

I was wondering how robust the remote connection was.  Said they will use 3 redundant dedicated fiber runs via 3 different routes. 

Why not just build the thing somewhere at the airport?  What is the advantage of doing it 100 miles away?
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RoadKingLarry
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2017, 11:24:37 AM »

I was wondering how robust the remote connection was.  Said they will use 3 redundant dedicated fiber runs via 3 different routes. 

Why not just build the thing somewhere at the airport?  What is the advantage of doing it 100 miles away?

If it is "remote" the operator can be anywhere, thankyouverymuch.

I don't care how deep the redundancy is, it will eventually experience an outage.
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Fly320s
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2017, 03:03:32 PM »

Why not just build the thing somewhere at the airport?  What is the advantage of doing it 100 miles away?

That is where the air traffic control center is already located.  No need to build a dedicated building at the airport to do remote air traffic control.  That doesn't make sense at all.

In the US, many of the air traffic centers are grouped into one or two buildings.  Boston Center and Boston TRACON are co-located in Nashua, NH, about 40 miles north of Boston.  The only controllers at Logan are the guys in the tower.

Ft Worth Center is the same way.

It is cheaper to have all the infrastructure in one location.
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Fly320s
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2017, 03:07:05 PM »

And here is the future of pilots:

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/watch-a-robot-land-a-737-1795351732
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MechAg94
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2017, 04:16:42 PM »

The public will never allow that to happen.  They will insist on at least one human pilot taking a nap in front of the controls while the robot flies the plane. 
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"This observation, also, I have laid to heart, that they, who in matters of war seek in all ways to save their lives, are just they who, as a rule, die dishonorably; whereas they who, recognizing that death is the common lot and destiny of all men, strive hard to die nobly: these more frequently, as I observe, do after all attain to old age, or, at any rate, while life lasts, they spend their days more happily."  Xenophon
Fly320s
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2017, 04:19:03 PM »

The public will never allow that to happen.  They will insist on at least one human pilot taking a nap in front of the controls while the robot flies the plane. 

We do that now.   shocked grin
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MillCreek
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2017, 05:30:36 PM »


So I saw the robot manipulating the throttle, flaps, gear and reverse thrusters, but never the yoke nor rudder, that I could see.
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Hawkmoon
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2017, 06:01:04 PM »

So I saw the robot manipulating the throttle, flaps, gear and reverse thrusters, but never the yoke nor rudder, that I could see.

737 has two engines. Why didn't the robot move both throttle levers together?
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Fly320s
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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2017, 03:46:54 AM »

So I saw the robot manipulating the throttle, flaps, gear and reverse thrusters, but never the yoke nor rudder, that I could see.

That was done by the autopilot.  It was a coupled approach to an autoland.  The robot is there to actuate the controls that the autopilot can't. 
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Fly320s
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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2017, 03:49:43 AM »

737 has two engines. Why didn't the robot move both throttle levers together?

Because it isn't programmed well?  Obviously this is just a proof of concept test and the technology will improve.  I hope.  Did you notice at the 1:14 mark that the robot arm pushes the yoke forward?  That would have disengaged the autopilot leading to all kinds of other issues.
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jamisjockey
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« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2017, 08:04:30 AM »

It's being tested in KJYO this summer.
The advantage for small airports is you can essentially run several small towers from one location, using controllers who are qualified in multiple towers.  Great for small mini airports especially in expensive areas.
ARTCC and TRACON services are already run remotely. I'm sitting 20 miles from IAD but I work radar traffic in and out of IAD as well as airports as far as 75 miles from here.
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jamisjockey
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2017, 03:47:34 AM »

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39960993

I wonder if ground control is also handled by this system.

Sorry I don't like typing long winded responses on my mobile.  Just sitting down at a PC this morning with my coffee so here's my thoughts.

First, that system does  handle ground control.  "Tower" and "ground" are both handled in the Air Traffic Control Tower.  They are visual functions backed up with other tools such as ground radar, but primarily rely on controllers in the tower looking out windows...or in that case, looking at the TV screens simulating windows.

We're entering the second testing cycle with that system at Leesburg airport next month.  It's being mirrored by a temporary Air Traffic Tower. 

Discovery did a great job taking apart the entire system as well as interviewing controllers.  It is an entire episode FYI
https://youtu.be/u0nYEmrq1as?list=PLl7kWN6X98EkrsmRKGRupd-V5F4_daXAj

Here's a breakdown, simply put
Tower handles the physical airport and a small radius around the airport that you can visually see
Approach and Departure control are radar functions and handle an area around airports, usually revolving around instrument landings and takeoffs as well as providing traffic advisory services to aircraft operating in congested areas
Center handles instrument flight between airports above the airspace controlled by Approach/Departure

I'm at Potomac Large TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control), working the area that handles Dulles Int'l airport, and a large chunk of airspace from Hagerstown WV down to Fredricksburg, VA.  We have 4 areas handling IAD, BWI, DCA, and RIC.  And it's all done from a site 20 miles SW of IAD...out in the 'burbs.


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