The most difficult problem in ATM is that of accepting the set of reported sensor observations and developing an optimal track for each aircraft from the data received.
1. Smoothing and prediction of tracks:
After the tracks have been correlated with the set of reports they are smoothed to minimize the noise introduced by the errors present in the reports, and the next half-second position is predicted.
2. Conflict detection:
Another major task in ATM is conflict detection. This process starts with the development of a future path envelope for each track in the system. Then each controlled track envelope is modified to add a minimum separation distance to its future path envelope.
3. Flight plan update and conformance:
The flight plan update and conformance task updates each flight plan and compares each controlled track with its matching flight plan.
4. Terrain avoidance:
This is the process of evaluating each flight to determine if it may encounter terrain in the next k minutes, where k is a “look ahead” time.
5. Display data processing:
This is the task of delivering data to the controllers and managers displays.
6. Data insert:
Inserting new data is O(d) where d is the amount of data being entered. This can include input from sensors, pilots, controllers, other ATM facilities, weather data, terminal conditions, etc.
7. ATM backup:
ATM backup is the process of maintaining a duplicate set of the relations making up the database for use in emergency conditions.
8. Cockpit display:
Cockpit display processing would develop the set of tracks pertinent to a specific flight, convert them relative to flight heading and transmit the data to the airborne cockpit display
9. Voice advisory:
A similar function could automatically advise, by voice, an uncontrolled flight of near term conditions of other aircraft and terrain. Its time would be the order of the number of uncontrolled flights being handled.
10. Runway optimization:
Runway optimization is the process of recognizing flights scheduled for a particular runway and ordering the set for each runway to optimize runway use.