This video provides an overview of the Management by Trajectory (MBT) concept that Mosaic is developing as part of a NASA Research Announcement (NRA). It follows a flight from Seattle to Atlanta and shows the differences that flight’s experience between the current National Airspace System (NAS) environment and the MBT environment.
In the current NAS, traffic flow management (TFM) plans are based on flight plans and other available information such as aircraft performance and forecast winds aloft. However, once the TFM plan is in place, controllers tactically manage the aircraft, often using “open” vector clearances that do not communicate when or how the controller expects the aircraft to rejoin its flight plan route. These open clearances result in “open” trajectories that do not define a complete path from the aircraft’s location to its destination. Such trajectories cannot be shared or synchronized among air and ground automation systems. As such, inconsistent trajectory predictions arise between automation systems, causing inefficiencies in air traffic management. MBT improves coordination between air navigation service providers (ANSPs) and airspace users to allow management of aircraft along planned four-dimensional trajectories. These four-dimensional trajectories, in contrast to open trajectories, are “closed” and maintain a synchronized trajectory prediction between air and ground automation systems from the aircraft’s current location to its destination.
MBT is part of NASA’s Air Traffic Management eXploration (ATM-X) project that envisions a NAS that supports equitable access to the airspace for all users, vehicles, and missions. Specifically, MBT supports the Increasing Diverse Operations (IDO) effort to develop systems for improving data exchange and supporting trajectory negotiation capabilities to increase predictability, airspace user flexibility, and access for emerging markets. MBT supports, leverages, and extends the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) 2025 vision for Trajectory Based Operations (TBO), including sharing information about NAS constraints and streamlining the use of time-based scheduling. MBT proposes capabilities for transforming TFM plans into aircraft trajectories and negotiating those trajectories.