Topic Author
Posts: 6305
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 1999 7:43 am

"Automatic Computer Control" Into SFO?

Sat Oct 07, 2006 10:54 pm

Anybody know what this is talking about?

"New software is being evaluated that might reduce noise from
airplanes flying over Peninsula residents on the way into San
Francisco International Airport.

"The airport's Aircraft Noise Abatement Office has been working with
NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Boeing Co. and United
Airlines to develop the "Oceanic Tailored Arrivals" program for
arriving trans-Pacific flights to the airport, according to airport
spokesman Mike McCarron.

"The program would set up automatic computer control of arriving
flights, allowing the planes to glide into their approach to the
airport rather than changing altitude and power multiple times.

"Using software developed by the NASA Ames Research Center, the FAA's
Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Center would upload the program to
an aircraft's on-board flight computer to fly the approach, McCarron

"The software can be tailored to accommodate the specifics of each
type of aircraft approaching the runway, he said.

"In theory, the program could save fuel, effect more accurate arrival
times, and simplify approaches for aircraft arriving after long
flights from the Pacific Rim, McCarron said. In addition, they could
help air traffic controllers plan arrivals and reduce their
workload, he said."

[Edited 2006-10-07 15:55:01]
Posts: 3950
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 12:56 am

RE: "Automatic Computer Control" Into SFO?

Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:21 pm

Yep, if this is the program/test that I am thinking of out there using controller pilot data link (CPDLC) it is a continuous descent arrival (CDA) and is where the ATC folks uplink a route for the arrival to fly based upon winds, and runway configuration a the airport...the crew loads that, computes their top of descent path to the runway over that route so they arrive at the final approach fix on a predetermined speed and altitude, all the while allowing the onboard FMS to calculate this information. Think it is being done only with the Pacific arrivals to SFO early in the morning and all B744's and B772's at this time.

If it sounds much like a profile descent it is other than the route being uplinked to the crew enroute via the CPDLC and allowing the FMS to figure out speed/TOD. Much much more to it, but that is the nuts/bolts from what I have been told.......hope others can be of more precise help that fly the jets!  Smile
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
David L
Posts: 8551
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: "Automatic Computer Control" Into SFO?

Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:00 am

Pihero provided a useful link in an earlier discussion:
RE: CDA - Continuous Descent Approach Question. (by Pihero May 3 2006 in Tech Ops)#12

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