A Developer Writing Software For Next Gen

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  1. #1
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    A Developer Writing Software For Next Gen

    Hello all, I'm a software developer currently involved in 2 National Airspace projects for the FAA.
    I'm trying to make Next Gen, NOW Gen.

    Here is my aviation bucket list:

    1) No more FDR or CVR. All data is bidirectional air-to-air and/or air-to-ground, logged real time, all the time.

    2) No more VHF radios. Airplanes all have an IP address and are online all the time, The aircraft is always "squawking" its MAC address so there is no longer a physical transponder you can put on standby.

    3) RNAV is so good that it is used exclusively for navigation and flight guidance. All waypoints are normalized to 4D lat lon, altitude, time. No NAV DATABASE OUT OF DATE message any more because fix names are no longer being created or retired.

    4) No more Clearance Delivery. All aircraft have an FMC that always has a flight plan loaded if a destination has been entered. All updates to the plan happen in real time all the time.

    5) When you want to fly, you or your dispatcher log on to"fly.companyname.com", put in a destination, departure time, and it will build a route taking everything into consideration including weather, and if you are rated to hand fly the aircraft in IMC. When you are ready to depart you tap "Request Departure" and since the aircraft is online all the time, ATC will initiate a text communication with you that will last for the duration of the flight. You can always launch teamspeak, discord etc. if you feel you absolutely need to use your voice and ears for communication with ATC or anyone else for that matter.

    6) No more published SIDs/STARS/Approaches. Don't need um. A completely dynamic 4D route is constantly getting built/rebuilt and sent to the FMC. When enroute, VNAV/LNAV are in FMC mode by default so you don't have to do anything to control the airplane, but you can take full control of the airplane at any time. If you are hand flying the airplane ATC will know about it, but if you are doing a good job and you are following the plan then no problem. They will text you "Nice job Chris!" or "Chris, are you ok?" depending on how you are doing.

    7) If the airplane has a mechanical problem, ATC will know about it and a viable flight plan that takes everything into consideration to get you down safely will instantly be created, and, if serious enough the plan will be automatically activated and executed.

    Does this sound crazy?

    All I'm asking for is to have the same capabilities in my airplane that I currently have in my car.

    Cheers
    -Dana

  2. #2
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    Re: A Developer Writing Software For Next Gen

    sounds like you're trying to put me out of a job.

  3. #3
    Stinger's Avatar
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    Re: A Developer Writing Software For Next Gen

    Sounds expensive.

  4. #4
    UNDgrad06's Avatar
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    Re: A Developer Writing Software For Next Gen

    No more approaches? How will anyone land in solid IFR?

  5. #5
    HenryTheAce's Avatar
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    Re: A Developer Writing Software For Next Gen

    You have it all wrong Danacan.... I’ll text chris he’s a f****** dumb a** let the plane fly itself

  6. #6
    Jax
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    Re: A Developer Writing Software For Next Gen

    Some of those things are possible (though will cost a lot of $$$ to implement). Others are probably a long time from becoming reality (specially the no published SID's/Stars part). In theory Next Gen sounds good, and it can work really good in the en-route environment, but there are quite a lot of issues that occur in the much busier, densely packed terminal environments that need to be solved.

  7. #7
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    Re: A Developer Writing Software For Next Gen

    Not at all. Both pilots and controllers benefit by a huge reduction in workload, but still do everything they do now except via text and not voice. Imagine never having to read back a clearance again or hear "with you" for the 80 gazillionth time.

  8. #8
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    Re: A Developer Writing Software For Next Gen

    If the current design and development process for NAS projects remains unchanged, it wouldn't matter because time to implement will take decades. No amount of money would be able to fix that. If the process was fixed, then risk becomes the debilitating factor no matter the cost.

  9. #9
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    Re: A Developer Writing Software For Next Gen

    That's the spirit Henry! You are already thinking about ways it would keep you engaged and having fun.

  10. #10
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    Re: A Developer Writing Software For Next Gen

    The aircraft would need to have RNAV equipment that can satisfy the RNP minima for the published approach. I think we will start seeing LPVs getting blessed as precision approaches in the very near future. This would be good news for the NAS because that would allow multiple parallel runways to be active at the same time at airports where ILS is currently only available on one when under IMC

  11. #11
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    Re: A Developer Writing Software For Next Gen

    Nextgen is not longer nextgen. It is things that should have been implemented in the 90s. Pretty sad.

  12. #12
    Jax
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    Re: A Developer Writing Software For Next Gen

    Quote Originally Posted by danacan211 View Post
    The aircraft would need to have RNAV equipment that can satisfy the RNP minima for the published approach. I think we will start seeing LPVs getting blessed as precision approaches in the very near future. This would be good news for the NAS because that would allow multiple parallel runways to be active at the same time at airports where ILS is currently only available on one when under IMC

    See, that's the thing. You talk about multiple parallel runways, so you must be talking about parts of the country with plenty of airspace to use those. Good luck getting that to work here in NY. Where are the multiple parallels runways at LaGuardia, or Newark? (the 1 set of parallels at EWR are so close to each other that they can't be used for simultaneous arrivals).

    NextGen in the NY airspace will never work because it doesn't matter how efficiently you get all that traffic to the outter fixes, if when they get there , we have not enough concrete to put them down in time. There's no room, or way to expand any of the airports in the NY metro area without spending a trillion dollars (and that's a good estimate).

  13. #13
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    Re: A Developer Writing Software For Next Gen

    Bingo. Jax hit the nail on the head. Concrete is the big limiter right now. You could mitigate that somewhat if you found a way to increase runway acceptance rates but that would increase safety risk. More precise avionics and precision approach technology could even increase the use of parallel runways. But in the end, when two aircraft are going to arrive at the IAP for the same runway at the same time...one will have to wait.

    I think real strides can be made in developing software that assists controllers and pilots in decision making. Also universally reducing enroute separation to something less that 5 miles and like I said above runway acceptance rates to allow final approach separation to be reduced. Data communications between pilots and controllers will eliminate a lot of errors and wasted time...as long as it works and there is some way to communicate when it fails.

    This is all similar to the efficiency studies of the past. There are definitely ways to make the US ATC system more efficient, IF you are willing to take on more safety risk. Right now each efficiency enhancement of NEXTGEN, is scrubbed and rescrubbed in risk assessments and onerous operational test and evaluation. Then it is implemented on very limited basis with the existing system maintained as a hot backup and then it is fielded. That process can be expedited but at what cost?
    kp

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