TGIR Mobility Award Nomination

Airborne Internet Award Ceremony Video (20Mb MPEG file)

OAT Program Connection:

Goal(s) - 1 to 4:    Primary:       Goal 1 - Revolutionize Aviation

                             Secondary:   Goal 4 - Commercialize Technology

Enabling Objective(s) 1 to 10:  Primary:  5-Mobility   Secondary:  4-Capacity   Tertiary: 1-Safety

Program/Project:                         Airspace Systems Program / Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS)

Briefly describe program/project and connection to OAT Goals and Objectives:

The limited capability and functionality of todayís National Airspace Systemís (NAS) Communications, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) infrastructure does not support the SATS requirements, thereby preventing intercity door-to-door mobility from being enhanced, an OAT objective.  NASAís Glenn Research Center in partnership with the FAA, NASA LaRC, and Industry led the development of a new CNS system that delivers aviation information services in an internet-like manner to aircraft and ground facilities as interconnected nodes on a high-speed digital communications network.  This revolutionary, integrated CNS concept is defined as the Airborne Internet and was developed to enable SATS Program CNS services.  The resultant Internet Protocol (IP)-based Airborne Internet design and development allows intelligence redistribution from centralized to distributed nodes, thus enabling SATS Operating Capabilities of Higher Volume Operations and Single Pilot Workload, the key factors to increasing the Nationís mobility via SATS and, eventually, commercial aviation.  The Airborne Internetís fundamental characteristics include: client server with confirmed delivery notification features; a robust high-capacity aviation information system for both air traffic control and safety advisories; integrated CNS; worldwide compatibility; seamless peer-to-peer connectivity; and high bandwidth and data rates.  The Airborne Internet was completed to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6.  The next stage underway involves transferring the Airborne Internet technology to a newly formed SATSLab Airborne Internet Consortium for experimental evaluations and commercialization.


Technical Accomplishments:

     To date, CNS systems have been proprietary, separate stove-piped, centralized air-ground networks.  The NASA GRC-developed SATS Airborne Internet charts unexplored, revolutionary aviation domains by providing a means to reduce avionics equipage cost while bringing all users, from general to commercial aviation, into a common integrated system.  It is an Internet Protocol (IP)-based design providing for intelligent redistribution from centralized to distributed nodes.  Ultimately, SATS volume and functional capabilities are enhanced, and Single Pilot Workload is reduced; these are keys to improving mobility by reducing intercity door-to-door travel time.

     The Airborne Internet incorporates major commercial off-the-shelf technologies from the telecommunications industry into a revolutionary aviation environment for CNS and Internet Services.  The Airborne Internet is a distributed, self-organizing network based upon peer-to-peer relationships of the Internet and on Open Systems Interconnect Models.  It achieves a peer-to-peer communications method based upon the autonomous address discovery that is decentralized and independent of ground facilities.  Its integrated approach supports multiple aviation applications through the use of common open systems protocols that allow real-time positively acknowledged access to critical services (i.e. weather, flight plan filing and clearances, pilot advisories) via a high-speed digital communications network.  The Airborne Internet has the potential of being an air-to-air centric system as well as an air-to-ground centric system.

     The Airborne Internet development had four phases.  First, its architecture development began with an operations concept and infrastructure assessment of the current NAS CNS systems for its ability to accommodate SATS objectives.  This assessment included a National Air Space modernization plan analysis and available government and/or commercial spectrum to determine whether Airborne Internet objectives could be accommodated.  Second, the Airborne Internet requirements definition of operational capabilities, including the requirements between airborne, ground vehicles, and Air Traffic Control and Airline Operating Center systems was developed.  Third, a capability assessment was conducted including hardware, software and other system prototype elements that would support a large number of simultaneous aircraft operations.  At this stage, the effort was heavily peer-reviewed and received strong support.  The fourth and final stage was experimental equipment completion for NASA Langleyís aircraft and ground facility, leading to full-scale SATS demonstrations.

Leadership and Organizational Accomplishments:

     In addition to the above excellent technical achievements, this team provided exemplary leadership to overcome significant funding and schedule challenges.  External constraints on the SATS Program denied Airborne Internet funding beyond the first year.  Though initially devastating, four critical management actions contributed to its ultimate success:  1) Glenn continued its project management and engineering support due to its commitment to the Airborne Internetís promise on a larger scale for developing the Next Generation CNS Capability identified in the ďFinal Report of the Commission on the Future of the United States Aerospace IndustryĒ;  2) Langley continued to identify the Airborne Internet as a SATS enabler and contributed facilities to house equipment for aircraft and ground station build up; 3) the Federal Aviation Administrationís (FAA) Technical Center provided internal funds to support the effort; and, 4) the Contractor team advocated and supported the effort with internal resources.  With this strong commitment from the entire team, the Airborne Internet has been demonstrated within its original schedule and will be available to support future SATS demonstrations.  Finally, a SATS Airborne Internet Consortium was created to insure the Airborne Internetís future and provide a forum for facilitating identification and use of low cost IP technologies in SATS aircraft and infrastructure in current and planned SATS experiments.  The Consortium also generates support for technology guidelines, standards and certification in SATS aircraft and infrastructure. 

Team Member Information

 

NAME

 

 

ORG.

 

ADDRESS

 

PHONE

 

FAX

 

E-MAIL

James H. Griner

NASA GRC

21000 Brookpark Rd.

Cleve, OH 44135

216-433-5787

216-433-6371

James.H.Griner@grc.nasa.gov

Michael J. Zernic

NASA GRC

21000 Brookpark Rd.

Cleve, OH 44135

216-433-5286

216-433-2995

Michael.J.Zernic@grc.nasa.gov

Denise S. Ponchak

NASA GRC

21000 Brookpark Rd.

Cleve, OH 44135

216-433-3465

216-433-6371

Denise.S.Ponchak@grc.nasa.gov

Konstanstinos S. Martzaklis

NASA GRC

21000 Brookpark Rd.

Cleve, OH 44135

216-433-8966

216-433-6371

Konstanstinos.Martzaklis@grc.nasa.gov

Richard C. Grube

NASA LaRC

1 South Wright St.

Hampton, VA 23681

757-864-5956

757-864-9714

R.C.Grube@larc.nasa.gov

 

Charles Howell

NASA LaRC

1 South Wright St.

Hampton, VA 23681

757-864-3974

757-864-9714

C.T.Howell@larc.nasa.gov

 

Ralph Yost

FAA Technical Center

Atlantic City Int'l. Airport

Atlantic City, NJ 08405

609-485-5637

n/a

ralph.yost@faa.gov

 

Peter C. McHugh

FAA

NASA LaRC   M.S. 114

Hampton, VA 23681

757 864-8490

757 864-8864

p.c.mchugh@larc.nasa.gov

 

James R. Branstetter

FAA

NASA LaRC   M.S. 114

Hampton, VA 23681

757-864-6396

757-864-1908

j.r.branstetter@larc.nasa.gov

 

Chris A. Wargo, President

Computer Networks & Software, Inc. (CNS)

7405 Alban Station Court, Suite B225

Springfield, VA 22150

703-644-2103

703-644-2309

chris.wargo@cnsw.com

 

Dr. Chris Dhas

Computer Networks & Software, Inc. (CNS)

7405 Alban Station Court, Suite B225

Springfield, VA 22150

703-644-2103

703-644-2309

Chris.dhas@cnsw.com

 

Crispin Ntto

Computer Networks & Software, Inc. (CNS)

7405 Alban Station Court, Suite B225

Springfield, VA 22150

703-644-2103

703-644-2309

Crispin.Ntto@cnsw.com

 

Thomas Mulkerin, President

Mulkerin Associates Inc. (MAI)

7405 Alban Station Court, Suite B-201

Springfield, VA 22150

703-644-5660

703-644-5694

Tom.Mulkerin@Mulkerin.com

 

Jim Hurlburt

Mulkerin Associates Inc. (MAI)

7405 Alban Station Court, Suite B-201

Springfield, VA 22150

703-644-5660

703-644-5694

Jim.Hurlburt@Mulkerin.com

 

Robert Magee

Mulkerin Associates Inc. (MAI)

7405 Alban Station Court, Suite B-201

Springfield, VA 22150

703-644-5660

703-644-5694

Bob.Magee@Mulkerin.com

 

Wendell Craig

Mulkerin Associates Inc. (MAI)

7405 Alban Station Court, Suite B-201

Springfield, VA 22150

703-644-5660

703-644-5694

Wendell.Craig@Mulkerin.com

David Witchey, President

AvCS Research Ltd.

3065 E. Smiley Rd

Shelby, OH 44875

419-342-7322

n/a

dwitchey@neo.rr.com

James Meer, President

Microflight, Inc.

7706 Maryland Avenue

Bethesda, MD 20817

301-320-9755

n/a

microflight@att.net

Prasad Nair, President

Project Management Enterprises, Inc. (PMEI)

7900 Wisconsin Ave.

Bethesda, MD 20814

301-652-5306

301-652-4571

pn@pmei.com

Steven Friedman, Chief System Architect

ADSI, Inc.

7900 Wisconsin Ave.

Bethesda, MD 20814

301-652-5306

301-652-4571

steve@adsi-m4.com

Wendell Turner, Software and Integration Engineer

ADSI, Inc.

7900 Wisconsin Ave.

Bethesda, MD 20814

301-652-5306

301-652-4571

wendell@adsi-m4.com

R. Andrew Pickens, President

AvCom, Inc

2206 Forest Ridge Road

Timonium, MD 21093

410-252-8540

410-252-2469

apickens@RADIX.net

Manu Khanna, President

Comptel, Inc.

2265 Kings Garden Way

Falls Church, VA  22043

703-582-7817

n/a

mkhanna@comptelinc.com

Paul Kelleher, Director Business Development

 

Architecture Technologies Corporation (ATC)

601 Indiana Avenue, NW (4th Floor)

Washington, DC 20004

202-393-0330

x170

n/a

pkelleher@atcorp-dc.com

Noel Schmidt, VP Engineering

Architecture Technologies Corporation (ATC)

9971 Valley View Rd

Eden Prairie, MN  55344

952-829-5864

952-829-5871

NSchmidt@atcorp.com

 

Matt Stillerman

Architecture Technologies Corporation (ATC)

33 Thornwood Dr, #500

Ithaca, NY  14850

607-257-1975

607-257-1972

Mstillerman@ATC-NY.com

 

Frank Adelstein

Architecture Technologies Corporation (ATC)

33 Thornwood Dr, #500

Ithaca, NY  14850

607-257-1975

607-257-1972

Fadelstein@ATC-NY.com

 

Paul Mallasch

Tectura Corporation

14205 SE 36th Street

Bellevue, WA   98006

425-957-4214

425-957-4201

pmallasch@tectura.com