Modernizing the U.S. National Airspace System
Tetra Tech is supporting the modernization of the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS) to meet the needs of the 21st century by providing safe and cost-effective technical navigation and timing services.
Currently, the technical capabilities associated with our NAS are largely being met using legacy, ground-based solutions. In the future, technical solutions that leverage performance-based navigation (PBN) will be required. Tetra Tech is supporting the parallel management of these two architectures as they evolve by providing engineering support, logistics, software integration and maintenance services, training, operations research and analysis, requirements development and analysis, and business and material management services.
Tetra Tech’s technical support services range from the development of concepts and requirements to implementation, decommissioning, and disposal of ground-based radar systems. We also provide performance-based navigation design and development services, including modeling and visualization of environmental impacts and navigation alternatives with regard to airspace efficiency, emissions, and noise. In addition to technical systems engineering activities, we provide program management services (financial management, budget execution, earned value management, and evaluation) for all task orders, systems and software engineering services, financial planning and cost-benefit analyses, and engineering design reviews. Furthermore, we supported the development and commissioning of the first civil satellite-based augmentation system (SBAS) in the world—the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS).
Tetra Tech developed Volans, a 3D animation software suite designed to provide air traffic planning, data analytics, environmental modeling capabilities, and address aircraft noise issues. Tetra Tech licenses Volans to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and uses Volans to support the FAA's Metroplex program. Our clients also include airports throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Latvia, France, Australia, and Argentina. Metroplex is a nationwide effort to improve airspace across the U.S., especially for those airports in close proximity to each other where routes overlap. PBN technology has triggered a redesign of departure and arrival routes, resulting in improved safety, capacity, fuel economy, and reduction of carbon emissions.
These route changes impact local communities, which could ultimately have a negative impact on modernization goals. To address this concern, Volans has been used to supply 3D video animations, iPad applications, touch screen displays, poster boards, and graphics for community engagement to educate stakeholders about the benefits of PBN implementation, and to help provide a clear understanding of airspace change. By using Volans, thousands of poster boards and other graphic media have been generated to support hundreds of community outreach meetings across the country, as well as FAA public websites, to help get communities and all stakeholders on board with the necessity of airspace improvements.