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Heather Arneson: "Analysis of Convective Weather Impact on Pre-departure Routing of Flights From Fort Worth Center to New York Center."

Abstract: In response to severe weather conditions, Traffic Managers specify flow constraints and reroutes to route air traffic around affected regions of airspace. Providing analysis and recommendations of available reroute options and associated airspace capacities would assist Traffic Managers in making more efficient decisions in response to convective weather. These recommendations can be developed by examining historical data to determine which previous reroute options were used in similar weather and traffic conditions. This paper describes the initial steps and methodology used towards this goal. The focus of this work is flights departing from Fort Worth Center destined for New York Center. Dominant routing structures used in the absence of convective weather are identified. A method to extract relevant features from the large volume of weather data available to quantify the impact of convective weather on this routing structure over a given time range is presented. Finally, a method of estimating flow rate capacity along commonly used routes during convective weather events is described. Results show that the flow rates drop exponentially as a function of the values of the proposed feature and that convective weather on the final third of the route was found to have a greater impact on the flow rate restriction than other portions of the route.

Bio: Heather Arneson has been a Research Aerospace Engineer at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA since 2011. She received a B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Cornell University and her M.S. degree and PhD in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her dissertation was on optimization methods using aggregate models for air traffic management applications. Between her undergraduate and graduate studies, she was a member of the science imaging team for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Mission. Her current research is in the area of air traffic flow management with a focus on the use of machine learning methods to develop decision support tools.

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