FASTI - Operational and technical validation

The FASTI Tools have been evaluated and tested through the performance of Operational trials.

These trials were a collaborative effort between various ANSPs, industry and EUROCONTROL:

  • Project North: a collaboration between Thales, LFV, Think Research and EUROCONTROL
  • Project South: a collaboration between SELEX Sistemi Integrati, ENAV, MATS, Deep Blue Consulting & Research and EUROCONTROL.
  • System Supported Coordination – several trials involving multiple ANSPs
  • Tactical Controller Tools: a series of real time experiments aimed at validating the tactical component of the Conflict Detection Tool

For further information regarding FASTI Operational Validation please contact Bogdan Petricel (tel: +32 2 729 33 62)

Project North

Project North

The purpose of Project North was to provide an increase in sector capacity and improve flight efficiency with maintained safety by development and use of MTCD at LFV. System 2000 at Malmö and Stockholm ACCs has been assessed and a number of improvements recommended.

Project North was established, comprising a collaborative effort between Thales, LFV, EUROCONTROL and Think Research, to perform an initial validation of the recommended improvements via real-time simulations.

LFV is acting as the representative of COOPANS which was formed by LFV, IAA and NAVIAIR to organise convergence of their needs and accelerate the upgrades of their respective equipment. This, along with the involvement of FINAVIA, provides an opportunity for the FASTI programme to reach its objective of standardisation and to accelerate the implementation and deployment of controller system support tools, with the support of Thales Air Systems.

Five Swedish controllers participated in a two-week trial which took place in Malmö in September 2008. The goals of the improvements were to improve the accuracy of the trajectories, add flexibility in the MTCD parameterization and remove some clutter caused by nuisance conflicts. The second week of the trials concentrated on investigating a Group Sector Planning concept and working methods- using the MTCD improvements as enablers.

Exercises were performed in two sessions, the first looking at these improvements in normal operations in two sectors; the second session validated these improvements within a concept of a group-sector planner (where a number of sectors are served by a single planner controller).

The software used for the simulations was that of the operational system at Stockholm and Malmö ACCs, upgraded to support the recommended improvements. Although it wasn’t always possible to draw unequivocal conclusions due to some constraints imposed by the simulation environment as well as technical issues both in the introduced functions and in the legacy functions, some important indicators were obtained.

Within the simulation environment, the use of measured ground speed greatly increased the accuracy of the trajectories which in turn lead to appreciably better performance of the MTCD.

The simulation exercises exposed a number of deficiencies in the trialed method of filtering nuisance warnings. These concerned team working issues between the executive controller and planner controller, insufficient support to the executive controller, and over-filtering of planning conflicts. Application of the Group Sector Planner (GSP) concept was considered possible in low to medium traffic levels, providing little coordination with military ATC was needed. Use of a GSP as a manning option was seen as providing a new intermediate step and not as a replacement for the traditional EC/PC manning. Full details of the trial are provided in the Validation Report (pdf). A number of lessons were learnt.

These can be viewed by clicking on the buttons below.

Involvement in FASTIProject Planning & ManagementTechnical Development
Operational DevelopmentSimulation, Management and PreparationValidation

Project South

Project South

SELEX Sistemi Integrati is the industrial supplier for both ENAV and MATS. A partnership was initiated in 2006, bringing together the expertise of EUROCONTROL, SELEX Sistemi Integrati, ENAV, MATS and Deep Blue Consulting & Research called Project South. Project South provides an opportunity for the FASTI Programme to work in a common and harmonised way to ensure early benefits can be delivered to airspace users.

Objective

The objective of Project South is to validate common user requirements for early implementation of new controller tools in Southern Europe.

Main Activities

  1. The first phase of the project started with identifying with ENAV and MATS management what benefits they would expect to gain from the FASTI tools in line with their own corporate strategy and environment. The process also involved an assessment of current systems, operational practices and human factors followed by a gap analysis which maps to the FASTI concept and the local management strategy. This was completed in 2008.
  2. The second phase, which will be completed by 2010, aims to derive and validate a set of common user requirements through a series of simulations with controller teams using SELEX’S products during real time simulations at ENAV’s Experimental Centre in Rome.

Benefits

  • The first FASTI Local Operational Concept together with 2 OSEDs. ENAV and MATS, with guidance from the FASTI Team, achieved general agreement on a Local Operational Concept bringing neighbouring ANSPs together.
  • Validated User Requirements. Working together with EUROCONTROL, Selex, ENAV and MATS, in the definition of requirements, enables SELEX Sistemi Integrati to design, develop and deploy the most appropriate next generation systems and tools.
  • Increased Capacity resulting from a reduction in the Tactical Controllers monitoring and coordination workload and the enhanced role of the Planning Controller.
  • Greater Flight Efficiency due to enlargement of planning horizon and reduction of tactical interventions. Improved Safety due to a decrease in ATCO’s workload.

SYSCO

SYSCO

Although a growing number of ANSPs/ACCs in Europe today have systems with SYSCO capability there has so far been hardly any SYSCO implementation between units. Therefore the FASTI Programme has a dedicated SYSCO project to help expedite such deployment.

Objective

The aims of the FASTI SYSCO Project is to support trials and deployment of SYSCO and to produce guidance material that can assist ANSPs in the deployment of SYSCO.

The detailed objectives are:

  • To support SYSCO trials and validation, specifically
  • To assist ANSPs to exploit their existing systems and concepts
  • To help ANSPs refine working methods and operational guidelines
  • To validate the FASTI SYSCO concept
  • To refine operational guidelines.
  • To develop good practice guidelines for SYSCO Deployment
  • To communicate and share experience on lessons learned on SYSCO Deployment

What has happened?

The main activity in 2009 and beginning of 2010 has been the skyguide SYSCO trials.

Background

FASTI started the Search for a partner for OPS Trials. At the end of 2008 a contract was awarded to skyguide and trials were held in February 2010.

Skyguide was an ideal partner as they had an existing Stripless baseline in OPS Geneva, experience in intra-sector electronic-coordination, a location in the core area of Europe, (at the crossroads of major traffic flows) in FABEC and adjacent to other FABs. All this makes it a key location for demonstrating an implementation.

The Project Stakeholders were EUROCONTROL & skyguide, and skysoft (the system supplier of skyguide).

What was trialled?

The objective for this trial was that the controllers should use SYSCO for all routine coordination.

Examples of this were:

  • Referred ACT (for non-standard level, including Accept, Reject or Counter-proposal)
  • Level Change (including, if to a non-standard level, Accept, Reject or Counter-proposal)
  • Route Change (dct or hdg)
  • Release (requesting and giving)
  • Transfer Conditions (for approval of longitudinal closing distance less than value in LoA)
  • Transfer of Communication (Change, Assume and Request of flight on frequency)
  • Point out of flight (making flight unknown by adjacent unit correlate prior to phone call)

The capability of SYSCO for Data Sharing was tested on the following items

  • Executive data (such as CFL, Route modification within LoA limits, assigned hdg, assigned speed, assigned vertical rate)
  • Area of Common Interest (for correlation and display of traffic passing through a defined area close to the boundary, but not crossing into the AoR)

OLDI messages used for this were: RAP, RRV, REV, CDN, COF, MAS, ROF, SDM, TIM, HOP, TIP, RTI, RRQ, RLS, INF, PNT, ACP and RJC.

Findings and Results

The initial findings from observation during the trial and a first analysis of the answers/comments on questionnaires show a very high level of controller enthusiasm for, and acceptance of, the SYSCO concept and tools.

An important factor in this acceptance was that a core team of controllers were involved in the development of HMI and Working Methods for the trials. The trials also made it clear that well defined procedures in Letters of Agreement, Local Procedures and Working Methods together with a good HMI will make it possible for SYSCO to cover close to 100% of routine coordination, and in this process ensure an instant and error free update of the trajectory between units.

Tactical Control

Tactical Controller Tools

Tactical Controller Tool (TCT), operating in both En-Route and TMA, warns the tactical controller of potential conflicts within the sector. To do this it combines current aircraft tracks with an accurate tactical trajectory that reflects the aircraft’s current behaviour.

TCT is primarily a separation assurance aid. It aims to reduce workload per aircraft for the tactical controller by providing very accurate monitoring and conflict detection. TCT will help not only in detecting problems but also in showing where no problems exist.

TCT warnings are provided in both the vertical and lateral planes and when no TCT warnings are indicated the controller can be assured that no potential conflicts exist at that time. TCT also indicates when a “critical missed manoeuvre” could occur, these are situations in which loss of separation would occur if an aircraft failed to make a planned manoeuvre.

Key Features

  • Separation assurance
  • 'No conflict' assurance
  • Designed to fit with Planning Conflict Detection (MTCD)
  • Reduction in controller workload per aircraft
  • Safe to return to track
  • Awareness of potential critical manoeuvre-miss situations
  • Up to 8 minutes look ahead
  • Resolution advisories (outside FASTI scope)

What has happened?

EUROCONTROL has developed a prototype concept demonstrator and have begun work on validating the concept. "Baseline" fast time simulations have been performed.

Operational requirements, HMI specifications and algorithm descriptions have been developed. A controller handbook has been produced which outlines working methods and provides guidelines for associated procedures.

A safety analysis (FHA-PSSA) has been completed.