Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Colloquium

November 28, 2018

November 28, 2018

Speaker: Dr. Lesley Weitz
               The MITRE Corporation
Title: Interval Management: A Future Air Traffic Concept to Increase Efficiency in the National Airspace System 
Location: Easton Hub Auditorium
                 Fiber Optics Building
Time: 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Abstract: Interval Management (IM) is a NextGen Air Traffic concept that leverages advances in communication, navigation, and surveillance technologies to enable an aircraft to space relative to other aircraft. Aircraft that are equipped with IM avionics will implement speeds to precisely achieve and maintain an Air Traffic Control (ATC)-specified interval from another aircraft (think of IM as “cruise control” for commercial flights). Improvements in spacing precision will ultimately lead to increased throughput in capacity-constrained airspace, thereby reducing system delays.

This presentation will provide an overview of the IM concept, starting with the problem the concept is addressing, and detailing the path to deploying the concept in the National Airspace System (NAS). There will be a specific focus on the development of control laws and algorithms for the IM avionics standards to ensure string stability, as well as the use of fast-time simulation analysis for verifying avionics performance in a realistic environment.

Bio: Dr. Lesley A. Weitz is a Principal Systems Engineer in The MITRE Corporation’s Center for Advanced Aviation System Development (CAASD).  Her current research is in advanced avionics for NextGen, including concept development, design, and analysis of avionics leveraging advances in communication, navigation, and surveillance technologies.  Dr. Weitz is also the IM Project Lead, providing technical oversight for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  Dr. Weitz’s contributions to the IM body of work include the development of spacing algorithms, string stability analysis of IM operations, and the modeling and simulation of IM operations to assess algorithm performance within a realistic environment of varying wind conditions and aircraft types. 

Dr. Weitz received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering in 2002 from the University at Buffalo and her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University in 2005 and 2009, respectively.   She is the author of over 30 peer-reviewed conference and journal papers.  Additionally, she has been awarded a patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office entitled, “Methods and Systems for Determining Required Interval Management Performance.”  Dr. Weitz is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA and is Deputy Director of the AIAA Aerospace Sciences Group. 
For additional information, please contact Professor Xiaoli Bai at or 848-445-4760.