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  1. Technology
January 6, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Apollo Computer has won a $2.6m contract from the US Department of Transportation to supply around 50 workstations for a new air traffic management system which is designed to avoid flight delays and enhance air traffic safety. The workstations, ranging from entry-level personal workstations to the 3-D graphics workstations, will be installed at the Transport Department’s Transportation System Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where its Research and Special Programs Administration developed the new Advanced Traffic Management System prototype using a network of Apollo workstations. The system enables traffic managers to view on a screen a display the route of every Federal Aviation Administration-monitored aeroplane in flight US-wide. The Advanced Traffic Management System gathers live flight information from computers at each of the 20 regional Air Traffic Control Centers. This information, which includes position reports and flight plans, is integrated and processed by a network of Apollo workstations and then sent to individual workstations at the Transportation System Center and at the Federal Aviation Administration headquarters in Washington DC, for evaluation by traffic managers. The 20 national Air Traffic Control Centers are expected to receive additional Apollo-based display systems next year and will be interfaced with the the ATM system for extended evaluation and development. The system can also provide selective flight information allowing users to focus on specific geographic areas or on flights grouped by origin, destination, aircraft type, route, fix or altitude range and enables selective display of details of each flight, including aircraft identification, altitude, equipment type, ground speed, and flight route. The user can adjust the scale and move the viewing area displayed on the workstation to focus on individual regions or airway segments. Previous traffic events can be replayed, letting traffic managers re-examine past situations. In addition to providing updated flight information, Advanced Traffic Management System continuously monitors traffic demands and automatically alerts traffic managers of predicted congestion.

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