CAMDA: Capacity Assessment Method for Decentralized Air Traffic Control

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This paper presents a semi-empirical method to determine the maximum theoretical capacity of decentralized airspace concepts. The method considered here, named Capacity Assessment Method for Decentralized ATC (CAMDA), formalizes an earlier approach described in literature, extends it for threedimensional airspace, and also improves the accuracy of the underlying models. CAMDA defines capacity as the traffic density at which conflict chain reactions propagate uncontrollably throughout the entire airspace. CAMDA identifies this critical density using a semi-empirical approach whereby models describing the actions of decentralized conflict detection and resolution algorithms are combined with empirically obtained conflict count data. The CAMDA method is demonstrated in this work for a decentralized direct routing en-route airspace concept that utilizes a state-based conflict detection algorithm, and a voltage potentialbased conflict resolution algorithm. Three fast-time simulation experiments were performed to study how the capacity of this particular airspace design is affected by: a) conflict detection parameters; b) conflict resolution dimension; and c) the speed distribution of aircraft. The results showed that CAMDA estimated the occurrence of conflict chain reactions with high accuracy for all cases, enabling capacity estimations using relatively non-intensive low density traffic simulations. Therefore, CAMDA can be used to speed up the airspace design process by reducing the number of time consuming high-density traffic simulations that are required when performing a trade-off between different airspace designs, or when fine-tuning the parameters of the selected airspace design.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2018 International Conference on Research in Air Transportation
Subtitle of host publicationBarcelona, Spain, 2018
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventICRAT 2018: 2018 International Conference on Research in Air Transportation - Castelldefels, Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 26 Jun 201829 Jun 2018
Conference number: 8


ConferenceICRAT 2018: 2018 International Conference on Research in Air Transportation
Abbreviated titleICRAT 2018
Internet address


  • Airspace capacity
  • airspace stability
  • Domino Effect
  • Parameter (DEP)
  • self-separation
  • BlueSky ATM simulator


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