External innovation projects reviewed

The 6th Innovative Research Workshop in December at the EEC was the occasion for the current CARE–INO (Cooperative Actions of R&D in EUROCONTROL) projects to present the progress achieved in the first year of their work The spirit of CARE-INO is to open the floor to external bodies such as universities, R&D centres, and industrial laboratories to propose projects aimed at developing innovative ideas, be they new or emerging technologies applied to ATM, or new ATM concepts, or a combination of both. The EUROCONTROL Innovative Research Advisory Board (IRAB), composed mainly of external experts, approved the continuation of five projects, with some being given guidelines for re-orientation, and accepted an additional one-year project. These projects are described in greater detail below, with links to the presentations given at the Innovative Research Workshop.
  MS Powerpoint Aircraft-Based Concept Developments presentation
  MS Powerpoint Dynamic Cost Indexing presentation
  MS Powerpoint 3D in 2D presentation
  MS Powerpoint Safety Modeling presentation
  MS Powerpoint MAMMI presentation
  MS Powerpoint Future Airport Strategies presentation

Aircraft-Based Concept Developments

ADV systems presented their work on Aircraft-Based Concept Developments (ABCD)

Air transport punctuality is the “end product” of a complex interrelated chain of operational and strategic processes carried out by different stakeholders (aircraft operators, airports, air navigation providers, etc.) during different time phases and at different levels up to the day of operations.

Punctuality is affected by the lack of predictability of operations in the scheduling phases and by the variability of operational performance on the day of operations. Furthermore, part of the unpredictability of a given flight derives from the lack of information about the status of the previous flights using the same aircraft.

Aircraft-Based Concept Developments proposes to improve flight predictability by linking flight plans using the same aircraft through the aircraft registration information.

At the INO workshop the group presented the ABCD concept definition and potential implementation. It showed how, thanks to this aircraft registration linkage, ABCD could allow a better anticipation of flight delays resulting in a decrease of global ATFM delays and better use of the ATM available capacity. In this way, ABCD intends to improve predictability and efficiency of the ATM operations.

The group reported on airlines’ positive feedback on ABCD concept and introduced the next steps to demonstrate the cost effectiveness and the feasibility of its implementation.

The IRAB fully supported this project and suggested a move towards implementation and a focus on simulation in the second year.
  MS Powerpoint See the ABCD Presentation given at the INO Workshop

Dynamic Cost Indexing

Dynamic Cost Indexing (DCI), presented by the University of Westminster in the UK described the development of a generic tool for dynamic cost indexing with the ability to manage flight delay costs on a dynamic basis, by trading accelerated fuel burn against ‘cost of time’.

Many airlines have significant barriers to identifying which costs should be included in ‘cost of time’ calculations and how to quantify them. The paper highlighted the need to integrate historical passenger delay and policy data with real-time passenger connections data. The absence of industry standards for defining and interfacing necessary tools was noted.

Delay recovery decision windows and ATC cooperation are key constraints. The paper suggested that DCI tools could also be used in the pre-departure phase, and could offer environmental decision support functionality related to future ‘green’ airspace. Short-term opportunities for saving fuel and thus reducing emissions were also identified.

The IRAB agreed the continuation of the project. Year Two work will complete the prototyping tool and specifically include the cost of emissions.
  MS Powerpoint See the DCI Presentation given at the INO Workshop

3D in 2D Displays for ATC

The University of Middlesex reported on the accomplishments of the 3D-in-2D Displays for ATC project at the end of Year 1.

They described 10 novel 3D/2D visualisations that were mostly implemented in the Augmented Reality ARToolkit and presented prototype implementations. They identified six candidate design concepts which will be further researched and developed. Demonstrations of these concepts were presented in the showroom.

These designs correspond with the early feasibility studies stage of maturity as defined by the NASA Technology Readiness Level framework. They described how they developed a Combination Display Framework from a review of the literature, and used it for analysing display designs in terms of display technique used and how they are combined.

The insights gained from this framework then guided the human-centred innovation process. The designs were based on an understanding of user work practices. They also developed a simple ATC simulator that was used for rapid experimentation and evaluation of design ideas.

The IRAB recommended that the project continue but that it should consider certain future concepts. In particular it should develop creative ideas to explore visualising the fourth dimension. They were also asked to consider applications in the cockpit.
  MS Powerpoint See the 3D in 2D Presentation given at the INO Workshop

Safety Modelling and analysis of organizational processes in ATC

NLR presented the results of the first year research on safety modelling and analysis of organizational processes in air traffic. This project aims to enhance safety analysis of organizational processes in air traffic by the development of formal approaches for modelling, simulation and analysis of organizational relationships and processes. These approaches should explicitly relate organizational processes at the blunt end (e.g. management, regulation) with working processes at the sharp end where accidents may occur.

Year One work included a literature survey leading to identification of promising approaches, and application of the most viable approach to an air traffic case on safety occurrence reporting.

The applied approach described a formal organization in three views: (1) organization-oriented view, describing roles, their interactions and authority relations, (2) performance-oriented view, describing goals and performance indicators, and (3) process-oriented view, describing tasks, processes, resources and their relations.

A fourth agent-oriented view represents the link between the role based formal organizational model and the agents that fulfil the roles. The performance of the agents is determined by the formal organization, but also influenced by the stochastic dynamics of interacting agents. With these four interrelated views a broad scope of organizational modelling can be achieved. The modelling approach supports safety assessment by identification of inconsistencies and evaluation of safety-relevant performance both at the level of the formal organization and at the level of interacting agents.

The IRAB considered that that the project has a good potential for modeling safety culture and that it was important for it to start concentrating on validation as soon as possible.
  MS Powerpoint See the Safety Modeling Presentation given at the INO Workshop

Design and evaluation test-bed for collaborative practices

INTUILAB presented their work on the design and evaluation test-bed for collaborative practices on control positions (MAMMI).

This project studies ways to improve the collaboration between ATCOs on the same position, using modern ATC concepts and tools, and explores new opportunities for dynamic organisations and workload management.

The paper presented the problems that had been identified and the design and evaluation test-bed that will address them by progressively introducing and evaluating new solutions, with the overall objective to get relevant operational feedback. A demonstration prototype platform was presented.

IRAB supported the continuation of the work but with some reorientation. They recommended that work should stop on tool development and that the project should move into the validation phase. It was also recommended that particular attention should be given to future scenarios of how controllers would work in 10/15 years time.
  MS Powerpoint See the MAMMI Presentation given at the INO Workshop

Future Airport Strategies

In addition to the projects confirmed for continuation the IRAB also accepted this one year project from M3 systems looking at airport strategies and the issue of Low Cost Carriers.

Air transport deregulation has led to the emergence of a new category of airlines and air carriers: the “low-cost” carriers (LCCs) which are gradually increasing their market share.

This raises many questions when considering the ATM environment in the future including among others how this will affect airports’ strategies, what will be the impact on traffic distribution between airports and what could be the reaction of traditional airlines. These issues will impact ATM and ATC service provision in areas such as traffic distribution and route structure.

FAST (Future Airport Strategies) thus has the dual aim of:
  • Analysing how European airports strategies could evolve in the future and
  • Analysing the resulting evolution trends in traffic distribution at airports at a 10 years time horizon
It can be considered as a first step in the analysis of the structure of future European air traffic.
  MS Powerpoint See the FAST proposal


Further details on CARE and its projects are available on the following link:
  HTML CARE web pages


Marc Bourgois
Alan Drew
  Last validation: 20/02/2008