[Avionics Today July 22, 2014] NASA has submitted an in-house developed computer software tool to the FAA designed to help Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) to better manage the spacing between aircraft flying throughout the National Airspace System (NAS). The software tool, Terminal Sequencing and Spacing (TSS) technology, enables the routine use of Performance Based Navigation (PBN) procedures while also reducing the amount of necessary communications between ATCs and pilots.
As seen in this image, Terminal Sequencing and Spacing technology enables air traffic controllers to better manage the spacing between aircraft as they save both time and fuel and reducing emissions, flying more efficient approaches into airports. Photo, courtesy of NASA.
TSS provides information to Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) controllers about the speeds they should assign to aircraft as they follow continuous-descent arrival procedures, covering a distance from an airport of about 50 miles. According to NASA, the FAA expects Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for TSS around 2018.
"With TSS, NASA's aeronautics innovators have delivered to the FAA another valuable tool that will soon benefit our environment, our economy and every individual traveler," said Jaiwon Shin, NASA's associate administrator for aeronautics research.