Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A New Way To Push Tin

The Daily Cal reports that ITS Berkeley a grant from NASA to improve the nation's air traffic control system. From the article:

The campus Institute of Transportation Studies will receive $502,000 for each of two years to evaluate possible methods of relieving the nation’s overburdened aviation system.

Mark Hansen, professor of civil and environmental engineering, will be the principal investigator for the project, along with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Maryland, College Park.

Hansen said that currently air traffic controllers are often unable to predict exact arrival times of aircraft, leading to delays and causing aircraft to circle above airports because of traffic backup on the ground.

“We are studying a new case in which each airplane arrives at the airport at a specific time,” Hansen said.

There have been many criticisms of the current air traffic control system: It's out dated because they still use strips of paper (ACM, registration required). It's overburdened. Some also say the current system can be unsafe.

In response, the FAA has announced the launch of a GPS based air traffic control system. A GPS based system is certainly safer than a Buddhist based system.

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