First SESAR Work Package E Call for Research Networks

Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR)

SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) represents the technological dimension of the Single European Sky initiative and will develop and implement the concepts and technologies required to prepare air traffic management in Europe for the future. SESAR involves a wide range of partners representing the whole aviation community. The SESAR Development Phase (2008 – 2016) is managed by the SESAR Joint Undertaking, on behalf of its founding members, the European Commission and EUROCONTROL.

SESAR long-term and innovative research objectives

The need to build the European economy on strong foundations of knowledge, research and innovation is widely recognised and research and innovation are seen as the key to growth, jobs and prosperity. This is as true for air transport and ATM as it is for any other industry. It is therefore vital that research competence is built and maintained so that Europe can play a significant and lasting role in the global arena. SESAR has recognised this challenge and established SESAR Long-term and Innovative Research (Work Package E).

WP-E will make provision for research activities that are not currently planned within the ‘mainstream’ SESAR work packages. Such research will address applications to become operational beyond the SESAR timeframe (nominally 2020) and will also allow for innovative work that may have application in the nearer term.

WP-E research networks and projects

Work Package E will use two approaches:
  • Research networks provide a structured way to build research knowledge, competence and capability to serve the industry in the long term. Each research network will be aligned to a research theme and comprise partners from academia, research establishments, industry etc. that share a common expertise or interest in a relevant air traffic management or transportation domain. Research networks will also include Ph.D. studies.
  • Research projects are much more focused in scope and time than research networks, exploring specific new and unconventional research opportunities well outside the scope of other SESAR work packages. These will mainly be oriented long-term but will potentially have application in the shorter term.
Research networks and projects are selected following open calls which are focussed around the WP-E research themes. The first Call for Networks closes on April 8th 2010 and details of the awarded contracts will be announced soon after. This will be followed by the First Call for Research Projects.

WP-E research themes

The WP-E research themes are:
  1. Legal Aspects of Paradigm Shift which covers legal issues that may accompany paradigm shift in the future ATM context. This includes aspects such as certification, liability, competition and intellectual property rights, at levels ranging from institutional down to detailed operations. Emphasis will be on the changes brought by future ATM paradigms, including the system as currently proposed by SESAR, but work on broader aspects of the implications of SES-II and its legal framework is not excluded.
  2. Towards Higher Levels of Automation in ATM is concerned with research into high degrees of automation, up to and including full automation. An important element will be the integration of airborne and ground-based systems, the evolution of the human role and managing the transition to higher degrees of automation.
  3. Mastering Complex Systems Safely focuses on air traffic management as a system of systems, with the objective of characterising the sources and consequences of its complexity and emergent properties, especially those related to safety. This will provide valuable insight into the system-wide impacts of change that are today not well mastered.
  4. Economics and Performance will look at long-term economic and performance issues associated with the ATM system as foreseen in the SESAR concept and beyond, applying traditional methods as well as developing innovative approaches. In particular, it will examine how economic factors can be used to drive new developments in the ATM system.

The SESAR Scientific Committee

The SESAR JU set up a scientific committee to reinforce its innovative and scientific approach to building the future air traffic management systems and procedures. The committee is comprised of 12 renowned scientists and provides guidance on all scientific aspects of SESAR, including long-term and innovative research (WP-E).

Further information and contacts

WP-E is managed on behalf of the SESAR Joint Undertaking by a small team based at the EUROCONTROL Experimental Centre in Brétigny-sur-Orge, France. More information can be found on the SESAR Joint Undertaking's WP-E web page:
  HTML SESAR Joint Undertaking WP-E web page
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  Last validation: 31/03/2010