NASA releases information request for digital traffic management platform

The US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has issued a Request For Information (RFI) for a Digital Information Platform (DIP) sub-project as part of an Air Traffic Management – eXploration (ATM-X) project.

The overall goal of DIP sub-project is to accelerate transformation of the National Airspace System (NAS) and airspace operations through the development of a foundation for advanced, data-driven, digital services for both traditional and emergent operations towards cohesive decision making. The DIP sub-project is focused on designing, developing, and demonstrating a digital data ecosystem to enable improved air traffic decision making. More specifically, the primary focus of DIP is to establish an easily accessible cloud-based Digital Information Platform utilized by a community of data and service providers and operators to gather and access real-time and historical data upon which data-driven services for NAS users are developed and operated. The DIP sub-project will look to promote viable business relationships that facilitate one-to-many shared services model rather than traditional one-to-one services model.

The DIP sub-project is interested in receiving information from stakeholders, both traditional and emergent operations, on challenges and needs for digital information and improved efficiency, predictability and scalability in airspace operations by using data-driven services. Through this RFI, DIP is trying to build an aviation community to collaboratively develop requirements for the digital information platform ecosystem, including concept, use cases, and collaborative demonstrations. The reference implementation of DIP and cloud-based digital services will be developed to demonstrate operational benefits through a series of collaborative demonstrations throughout the life of the sub-project.

Important information from operators and National Airspace System (NAS) services is emerging in digital form. Additional effort is required to fully extract and utilize this information for the greater benefit in the aviation community. In recent years, there has been a desire in the aviation community to conduct a wider range of new types of operations, with new types of aircraft, and/or at a higher level of operational density and complexity. There is an increasing need to collaborate across communities and share high interest data for a reliable and accurate nation-wide stream of data. For example, government, industry, and academia have collaborated on enabling routine access to the airspace for small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS). Shared airspace requires integration of key flight information from multiple sources and identify reusable services to advance capabilities for both traditional and new entrants. These services can include re-route processes, disruption management, system-wide safety or other services related to impact to flights. These services inevitably rely on access to critical data. In addition, there are technology advances—in cloud-based infrastructures and artificial intelligence, for example—that are converging to further streamline access and conduct airspace operations in a more collaborative, integrated, and seamless way.


Date released: 24 March 2021

Response date: 14 May 2021

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