FAA Expands NextGen Testbed at Embry-Riddle
An expanded FAA NextGen ATC technologies testbed at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach, Fla. campus officially opened this week. The facility, which has been doubled to 10,000 sq ft, allows ERAU researchers and aerospace partners to demonstrate new technologies that the FAA says will increase air traffic safety, efficiency and capacity. The FAA administers the testbed facility and provides guidance for NextGen proof-of-concept programs, while Embry-Riddle manages the facility, conducts research there and coordinates the work of engineers from industry and government agencies. Since the Florida testbed opened in 2008, researchers have demonstrated several NextGen technologies at the facility, including integrating predicted weather and flight trajectories into the en route automated management (Eram) and terminal management advisor (TMA) systems. Researchers have also exchanged data about aircraft movement on airport surfaces and aircraft flying across the Atlantic Ocean. Future tasks include an exchange of flight information for aircraft crossing the Pacific Ocean, the investigation of commercial integration of unmanned aircraft systems into the National Airspace System and the use of four-dimensional trajectories assigned to aircraft to manage aircraft routes.