Python for air traffic control?

Will Ware wware at
Tue Jul 3 13:39:29 CEST 2001

Carlos Ribeiro (cribeiro at wrote:
> ...the problem in air traffic 
> control is *not* how to map airplane positions using radar input; is how to 
> calculate paths and coordinate communications with dozens, or even 
> hundreds, of airplanes, while following *very* strict safety rules that 
> tell how to solve conflicts that arise all the time. You have to manage the 
> queues for takeoff and landing, keeping everything in sync to make the most 
> of precious time.  ...there are several "lanes" in air 
> space, defined by the authorities. The use of the radio frequencies must 
> also be managed by the tower to make sure that there are not any undesired 
> interference between different airplanes...

This is a wonderful statement of the magnitude of a tough problem. One more
thing: In modern times it has become customary to maintain a geographical
database that tracks turbulence, depending primarily on reports from pilots.
Regions of turbulence move fairly slowly, so you end up with a gradually
shifting 3D representation of where the turbulence is, which helps pilots
avoid it.
 22nd century: Esperanto, geodesic | Will Ware
 domes, hovercrafts, metric system | wware at

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