UI Operator Performance Lab to Work with Rockwell Collins on NASA Contract

July 1, 2012

College of Engineering corporate partner Rockwell Collins has been awarded a contract from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to research a new flight deck application that is expected to accelerate the adoption of NextGen technology.

The company will utilize the University of Iowa Operator Performance Lab to evaluate the effectiveness of flight crew interfaces. The research will take approximately two years.

The NASA concept, called Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests (TASAR), utilizes Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast In (ADS-BIn) currently being encouraged by the FAA to gather information about surrounding aircraft traffic. Using the flight plan and traffic, the TASAR application determines the most efficient flight path that is conflict free and recommends it to the flight crew.

Today, flight crew requests for more efficient flight paths to Air Traffic Control (ATC) are frequently disapproved due to traffic conflicts that are known only to the controllers. By considering other traffic while developing the proposed route, there is a high probability of approval by ATC.