In 2021, MIT Lincoln Laboratory is celebrating its 70th year of operation as a Federally Funded Research and Development Center and its 50th year of support to the Federal Aviation Administration. The Laboratory has developed and transitioned a range of technologies to industry to improve aviation safety and efficiency in areas including aircraft surveillance, collision avoidance, weather sensing and forecasting, traffic management, and logistics optimization. Recent thrusts have been focusing on safely increasing autonomy, developing innovative AI/machine learning capabilities, and enabling growth in unmanned aircraft operations.
In this webinar, we will engage with several researchers from Lincoln Laboratory who will provide an outline of recent advances in air traffic control technology and some of the key challenges and opportunities for the future.
Visit Lincoln Lab Air Traffic Control: https://www.ll.mit.edu/r-d/air-traffic-control
Download ATC brochure: https://www.ll.mit.edu/doc/air-traffic-control-research-and-innovation
Dr. James K. Kuchar is an Assistant Head of the Homeland Protection and Air Traffic Control Division at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. His responsibilities include overseeing the division’s programs in transportation technology development spanning weather sensing, air surveillance, collision avoidance, unmanned systems, air traffic management decision support, and cyber security.
After joining the Surveillance Systems Group at Lincoln Laboratory in 2003, Dr. Kuchar developed the analysis framework used to support an improvement to the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) and initiated modeling and algorithm development for the next-generation Airborne Collision Avoidance System (ACAS X). In 2010, Dr. Kuchar was promoted to leader of the Air Traffic Control Systems Group, where he managed technology development for airport, terminal area, and en route decision-support systems including machine learning algorithms for weather sensing and traffic management.
Dr. Kuchar holds SB, SM, and PhD degrees from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, where he also served on the faculty between 1995 and 2003. His work at MIT included research and teaching in the areas of humans and automation, decision-aiding and alerting systems, and flight simulation. A private pilot, he has authored more than 70 journal and refereed conference papers. Dr. Kuchar is an AIAA Associate Fellow and serves on the Federal Aviation Administration's Research, Engineering, and Development Advisory Committee.
Dr. Wesley A. Olson is the Leader of the Surveillance Systems Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. The group develops surveillance and decision support architectures and technologies to enable future transportation systems.
Dr. Olson leads the development of technologies to improve aviation safety. Since 2010, he has led development of the next-generation airborne collision avoidance system, ACAS X. He is involved in other research and development efforts to safely integrate new airspace entrants such as large and small unmanned aircraft systems as well as Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) aircraft. He serves as technical advisor to the U.S. panel member on the ICAO Surveillance Panel and the Airborne Collision Avoidance Subgroup, provides technical leadership on several RTCA special committees, and is a participant on the Air Traffic Control Association Blue Skies Initiative team.
Prior to joining MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Dr. Olson served for 22 years in the U.S. Air Force, where he held positions including Associate Professor and Deputy Head, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, at the United States Air Force Academy, as well Deputy Director for Operations at the Air Force Flight Standards Agency. He is a rated pilot with 3,500 flight hours in the C-5, C-21 and TG-7 aircraft and holds an FAA Air Transport Pilot rating.
Dr. Olson received PhD and MS degrees in engineering psychology from University of Illinois and a BS degree in human factors engineering from the United States Air Force Academy.
Dr. Tom G. Reynolds is the Leader of the Air Traffic Control Systems Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. The group develops advanced technologies to enhance the safety and efficiency of air transportation.
Dr. Reynolds leads a range of programs that are developing advanced decision support tools and aircraft operations improvements. Examples include tools to help develop air traffic management strategies during adverse weather conditions, integration of commercial space operations into the national airspace system, airport surface congestion management techniques, and optimized profile descent procedures. He is an AIAA Associate Fellow and the chair of the AIAA Aircraft Operations Technical Committee, and has provided expert witness testimony on efficient use of airspace to the U.K. House of Commons Transport Committee.
Prior to joining MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Dr. Reynolds worked on the research staff at MIT and the University of Cambridge, and in industry at British Airways Engineering and the U.K. Defence Evaluation and Research Agency. He has authored 7 book chapters, 12 journal papers, and more than 50 refereed conference papers. He has won several national awards, including the AIAA Orville and Wilbur Wright Graduate Award, and was a U.K. Fulbright Scholar. He has PhD and SM degrees from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT, and a BEng in aeronautical engineering from the University of Bristol in the U.K.