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Sarah Adams Yeary

Sarah Adams Yeary

BA Mathematics
Spellman College

Staff Systems Analyst
Lockheed Martin

Since 1983, I have worked on worldwide air traffic control projects. My first assignment was as a schedule analyst, where I applied probability, statistics, and logistics to determine whether a project was on schedule. I soon moved into a more technical area, system test and evaluation, in which we simulated the flight of aircraft under a wide spectrum of environments to test whether the computer system was functioning properly. I was responsible for looking at the system from an air controller's point of view.

The major contract on which I have worked for the past six years is the host computer system. IBM was awarded a contract to replace the main-frame computer systems that were used for air traffic control operations. The 20 Air Route Traffic Control Centers in the United States each received new hardware and software as part of the host computer system. After installation, each computer had to be tested and accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration before it was put into service.

Currently, we are in the early stages of the next major upgrade to the air traffic control system, the advanced automation system (AAS). One significant component of the project is to replace the displays where aircraft are viewed by the controllers. The new display system replacement (DSR) will display more information to the controllers and decrease the likelihood for human errors. I'm currently working on an interim replacement system, display channel complex Rehost (DCCR). The AAS is expected to carry air traffic control operations into the 21st century.

My work with worldwide air traffic control projects has taken me to London, where I tested the host computer system installed by IBM for the United Kingdom. Future systems are being designed for Taiwan as well as for other countries. I certainly feel part of a "worldwide" project. The facility where I worked for the past six years is the location of the testing for the Federal Aviation Administration projects before they are deployed to each Air Route Traffic Control Center. Recently I received a promotion and new assignment to the Air Traffic Control Center near Chicago. There I will have the opportunity to see how the real world applies the systems that I have been analyzing and testing.