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Aviation and Aerospace Analysis

IAI has considerable expertise in Air Traffic Management (ATM), in developing cutting-edge tools for both NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and using them to solve topical problems in the aviation community. Our team of researchers and engineers have experience developing several tools, including NASA's Airspace Concepts Evaluation System (ACES), NASA's Multi-Aircraft Control System (MACS), the Department of Transportation's (DOT's) Aviation Environmental Design Toolkit (AEDT), the FAA's TARGETS system, and NASA's Air Traffic Operations System (ATOS). In addition, we have expertise in developing a number of visualization and analytical tools to better understand and translate the large quantity of data produced by these models into actionable information for aviation decision makers.

IAI also conducts research into all aspects of Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) impact studies regarding communication, loss of separation, and UAS vehicle modeling. Our research and development efforts have been published in leading aviation conferences and journals and we contribute to industry forums dedicated to advancing the state-of-the-art in aerospace development.

The ATM group supports the efforts at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) in a wide range of ways, including working with LaRC on a variety of airspace studies using Airspace Concepts Evaluation System (ACES) and other models. We also support studies of UAS-controlled airspace integration efforts through our Hampton, VA office. We support the NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) in developing key pieces of the architecture for ACES and provide guidance and ongoing studies for the FAA Joint Planning and Development Organization (JPDO). We provide support to NASA through collaborations with Raytheon and Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies (SGT). As a member of Exelis' Incorporated's SE2020 team, IAI contributes advanced airspace design and studies to Exelis and the FAA. Other collaborators include Vantage Partners, CSSI, Volpe, ITT, Metron Aviation, QinetiQ NA, Wyle, UC Santa Cruz, and Purdue University.

Some examples of our research include:

Studying near-term (circa 2018) NextGen procedures at Atlanta Hartsfield Airport (ATL) and the surrounding airspace for the FAA and its prime contractor, Exelis Incorporated. This work included redesigning the Atlanta airspace for NextGen procedures and then automatically flowing the redesigned airspace through ACES and then into AEDT, using our previously built state-of-the-art system for automatically flowing ACES output to the AEDT model and adding the FAA TARGETS system to the front-end.

IAI works as a key developer of NASA/Ames' ACES system to architect key components of the system, and develop several research capabilities for NASA and other organizations. IAI's Separation Assurance (SA) plug-in allows researchers to compare and evaluate different ways of separating aircraft such as ground-based separation, airborne separation, or a combination of the two. IAI's dynamic airspace configuration (DAC) allows evaluation of different methods for DAC.


ATM Laboratory posesses myriad tools and software that IAI develops, supports, or uses for applications including the modeling and simulation of the NAS, concept development and Airspace Design and Analysis tools. These tools include:

  • CybelePro®: IAI's award winning Distributed Agent Infrastructure.
  • KTG: Kinematic Trajectory Generator, IAI's Fast-time model.
  • UAS-Max: Projection of Future UAS Flight.

  • ACES: Airspace Concepts Evaluation System; IAI supports development of this NASA's Fast-time Modeling & Simulation Tool.
  • AEDT: Aviation Environmental Design Toolkit, a DoT product.
  • Airspace Design Tool: Combines visualization and data analytics fofr browsing airspace designs.
  • Airspace Visualization Tool: For visualizing flight tracks and routes from actual or simulated data.
  • ATOS: Air Traffic Operations Simulation; IAI supports model development of this NASA LaRC Real-time HTIL Sim Product.
  • AwCNS: ACES upgraded with CNS capabilities, including UAV communications
  • MACS: Multi Aircraft Control System; a NASA Ames HTIL Simulation product; IAI supports MACS/ATOS integration.
  • TAASE: Terminal and Airport Surface Editor, IAI/NASA Design Tool.
  • TARGETS: FAA tool to assist in airspace design.

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Kinematic Trajectory Generator (KTG) computes the state of an aircraft, based on aircraft performance information provided by the Base of Aircraft Data (BADA). It exists in a stand-alone form, but has also been integrated into the ACES product where it computes an aircraft's trajectory from wheels-off to wheels-on. KTG is ideal for NextGen airspace studies, and is one of the trajectory generators embedded within the NASA ACES program. (More)

ACES->AEDT conversion tool (AACT) automatically collects information from a number of sources like ACES output, airport databases, airframe information, and formats an input file for AEDT. This tool allows analysts to run a "360-degree" evaluation of NextGen concepts, and compute performance metrics using ACES and environmental metrics using AEDT.

UAS Future Demand Generator (UFD) allows analysts to project the departure and arrival airports, as well as departure and arrival times and routes of flight, for future UAS aircraft operating in the civil aviation system. It computes future UAS demand from current aircraft production and conversion numbers.

Airspace Visualization Tool (AVT) projects flight tracks onto pilot charts, including VFR and IFR charts, ground terrain images, and maps. AVT can be used to insert new GPS-based waypoints and change arrival, departure and airways. The result can be fed into ACES, and then using AACT, the ACES output can be fed to AEDT to examine the performance and environmental impact of proposed airspace changes.

CybelePro®'s award winning agent infrastructure is used extensively by government, industry and academia for applications such as robotics, planning & scheduling, data-mining, modeling & simulation, and control of air and ground transportation systems, communication networks and cross-enterprise systems. (more)

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