At EUROCONTROL, we use our validation expertise to ensure that collision avoidance systems are built to be effective and operationally acceptable in Europe’s airspace.
An encounter consists of two or more short aircraft trajectories (up to 4 minutes long) that are likely to trigger airborne collision avoidance systems (ACAS), short term conflict alerts (STCA) or other collision avoidance or separation systems. Stress testing these systems exposes them to various generic encounters to establish whether they are fit for purpose in a particular airspace.
Testing needs to take into account airspace particularities using representative encounter sets, where very close encounters are hard to find due to aviation’s obsession with safety. Thus, when radar encounters are too few to measure safety performance, we develop and use encounter models which generate sufficiently large artificial encounter sets with realistic distributions of physical characteristics.