|Classic Technology Developments support the RoboLander Concept|
How far should we go down this path *and* is it worth it or is it a snow
job from the tech community with no real tangible
It's no snow job. It is simple application of information technology from a network perspective. The other applications of information technology that the industry has benefited from are such things as:
A. -The closed loop autopilot shows what you can do with information about vehicle position, rates, and accels. GPS provides the most accurate position information.
B. - The FMS shows what you can do by integrating airframe, flight plan, and enroute information in a judicious way.
C. - The GPWS/EGPWS added terrain information to the picture (pardon the pun).
D. - The windshear systems (reactive and predictive) added severe weather info to enhance "airmass awareness".
E. - Engine and Cargo Fire detection systems provide some pretty useful information that you've got a problem onboard that needs to be handled.
Global ATM and "Free Flight" (yes, I still use that term, because I think it does express a good goal) is simply the next evolution (and level of integration) of real-time information into the "picture of choices" available to the captain. The benefits of integrating the airplane and its systems with the entire ATC network in real-time will turn out to be every bit as great as many of those listed above.