Field Test of Interval Management—Spacing During an Optimized Profile Descent Arrival and Approach

May 2016
Topics: Aviation and Aeronautics
William J. Penhallegon, The MITRE Corporation
Randall S. Bone, The MITRE Corporation
Hans Stassen, The MITRE Corporation
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Interval Management-Spacing (IM-S) is a concept enabled by Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology. It consists of ground and flight deck-based capabilities and procedures designed to enable aircraft to achieve and maintain spacing relative to each other. IM-S delegates the spacing task to the flight deck and enables flight crews to follow speed guidance generated by avionics to achieve and/or maintain spacing relative to a Target Aircraft. IM-S increases throughput in capacity constrained airspace by spacing aircraft closer together more consistently than is otherwise possible.

Over three nights in 2010, a field test of IM-S during Arrival and Approach (IM-S AA) was performed with UPS Boeing 767 aircraft during Optimized Profile Descents (OPDs) into Louisville International-Standiford Field (SDF). The results from this field evaluation helped validate past fast-time and HITL simulation results that suggest overall concept acceptability and feasibility. The results also provide performance data that can be used as parameters for future modeling and simulation research. The results should also be helpful for display and other system requirements as further FAA flight test and avionics standards are developed.

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