A snapshot of some recent, current and forthcoming activities - Summer, 2008

Trajectory downlinking improves prediction accuracy

A study has been conducted to assess the feasibility of integrating selected aircraft derived data into industrial trajectory predictors (TP) used in operational air traffic control systems. The use of the FMS intended trajectory was shown to bring significant accuracy improvements without requiring major changes in the TP architecture. The study was based on real flights performing continuous descent approaches on precision area navigation routes to Stockholm Arlanda airport.
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4D trajectory management: an initial pilot perspective

A real-time simulation investigated the feasibility of 4D trajectory management en-route, from the perspective of the pilot. Adherence to a reference business trajectory time constraint (-2 minutes; +3 minutes) caused no difficulty. A controlled time of arrival window (±30 seconds) was slightly more difficult to achieve and required closer coordination between pilots and controllers. The findings from this simulation and from a ground simulation will be used to help refine the 4D trajectory management concept in the context of SESAR.
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Safety culture making waves

Few of us follow the rules all the time, even when it comes to safety. We may marginally exceed speed limits, particularly when there appears to be no traffic around. We may take small risks in our daily lives, which we feel are negligible. Is it any different for an air traffic controller controlling air traffic?
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Calls for Papers

8th USA/EUROPE ATM Research and Development Seminar

The 8th USA/EUROPE Air Traffic Management Research and Development Seminar will take place in Napa, California, from 29 June – 2 July, 2009. The closing date for papers is 23 January, 2009.
  HTML ATM R&D Seminar Call for Papers

EUROCONTROL Innovative ATM Workshop and Exhibition

The EUROCONTROL Innovative ATM Workshop and Exhibition provides a forum for academic researchers and innovators from around the world to present and discuss ideas. The 7th INO Workshop will take place at the Experimental Centre from 2nd to 4th December, 2008.
  HTML INO Workshop Call for Papers
  HTML The video of last year's workshop

Avoiding bunching through departure metering

Departure metering is the synchronising of departing flights from a multi-airport terminal manoeuvring area in order to avoid congestion at specific merge points or route segments. Although departure metering can be effective in reducing bunching it impacts runway sequencing, giving rise to increases in average delay on departure. A model has been developed to determine the trade-off between the reduction of bunching and the increase in average delay.
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No crossing conflicts between cruising aircraft in lattice network but ...

The second scenario of the European Commission's innovative SuperHighway project investigated a repeating route network, called a lattice. In fast-time simulations of the lattice, conducted at the Experimental Centre, there were no crossing conflicts between cruising aircraft (in the case of direct routing about 25% of conflicts were between cruising aircraft). However, the total number of conflicts occurring in a basic lattice increased by 4% compared with direct routing and compatibility with reserved areas is an unresolved issue.
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Positive assessment of WHEELIE display filtering

WHEELIE is a tool which assists the air traffic controller by giving her a novel way of displaying aircraft by flight level. The mouse wheel is used to select and scroll through horizontal views. Aircraft flying at the selected level are highlighted. A human factors comparison showed reduced mental workload and improved situation awareness, although there was no significant change in objectively measured indicators (such as heart rate and performance).
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Identifying intruders in air ground voice communication

Air traffic control communication represents a real challenge for existing speaker identification techniques because of its short messages, narrow bandwidth and noisy channels. A new technique has been developed, which could allow intruders to be identified.
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Using test beds to support certification and monitor operations

Test beds are vital tools supporting the research, development and implementation of new communications, navigation and surveillance (CNS) and air traffic management (ATM) concepts and technologies. To prepare for operational use, test bed providers can take account of the eventual needs of certification authorities. Key steps have been identified to allow test beds and their results to be used cost-effectively in a certification context.
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What factors will influence the demand for leisure air travel in the future?

In 2003, 69% of air trips made by Europeans were for leisure. Factors contributing to demand for leisure air travel in 2025 will include increased demand to visit friends and relatives, and increased demand from retired people. There will be greater demand for customised travel and to escape from the stress of modern living. Environmental concern is not anticipated to reduce demand. Only fare increases could contribute to reductions in demand.
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Attitudes to change in ATM operations with Continuous Descent Approach case studies

ATM deals with change on a daily basis, nonetheless it has a reputation for being resistant to change. The success with which a change is introduced depends on the process by which it is introduced. In order to better understand attitudes to change in ATM operations, the introduction of Continuous Descent Approaches at three airports was studied and analysed. Important elements in the acceptance of change include the motivation of pilots and controllers, their inclusion in the consultation process and their perception of benefits.
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Research grants awarded for innovative studies

The Experimental Centre's innovation strategy recognises academic centres of excellence as highly relevant partners. Nine research grants have been awarded.
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