Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

X-WALD Report Summary

Project ID: 619236
Funded under: FP7-JTI
Country: Italy

Final Report Summary - X-WALD (Avionic X-band Weather signal modeling and processing vALidation through real Data acquisition and analysis)

Executive Summary:
The MAIN OBJECTIVE of the X-WALD project has been the planning and the execution of ad-hoc experimental measurements finalized to optimize, test and validate:
- the avionic polarimetric radar signal simulator (CleoSim);
- the radar signal processing and weather classification algorithms implemented on an EFB in the KLEAN project;
- the EFB GUI interfaces for the advanced display of weather classifications and decision-making advices developed in KLEAN
For the achievement of this goals, the following specific activities have been carried out:
- the selection and the upgrade of an X-BAND polarimetric radar suitable to be mounted on the nose of an airborne platform for gathering data in presence of weather events in compliance with the JU-SGO goals,
- the planning of ad-hoc measurement campaign in well-monitored selected scenarios,
- the experiment execution for data acquisition,
- the validation, optimization and refinement of the avionic polarimetric radar signal simulator (CleoSim),
- the validation, optimization and refinement of the weather radar signal processing and trajectory optimization algorithms running on the EFB (KLEAN project),
- The refinement of the EFB GUI in accordance with the new needs resulting from the experimental data analysis,
- The overall EFB SW refinement for reaching level TRL5 (Technology Readiness Level 5)
The innovative contributions of the proposal are:
I. Analysis, selection and customization of experimental avionic radar with system characteristics suitable to be installed on the nose of airborne platforms and able to carry out measurements also in adverse meteorological conditions,
II. Avionic polarimetric data acquisition during selected meteorological events, concurrently monitored by auxiliary ground-based polarimetric weather radar(s) and in situ meteorological sensors,
III. Validation and optimization of the CleoSim radar simulator in meteorological scenarios a priori characterized by auxiliary sensors,
IV. Validation and optimization of the radar signal processing and weather classification algorithms in comparison with other external radar data and in situ meteorological sensors,
V. Reliability test of the trajectory optimization algorithms through the use of a mission/flight simulator that reproduces the measurement conditions, in which the optimum trajectories estimated by the real data are applied,
VI. Validation and reliability testing of the customized EFB developed in KLEAN to real operative scenarios.

Project Context and Objectives:
2.1 Technical background
All civil airplanes and military transport aircrafts are usually equipped with avionic weather radars (AWR). Current AWRs allow different functionalities on detection of dangerous weather phenomena. Typical and possible methods and systems so far developed, both for ground-based and for airborne applications, to detect dangerous weather zones and to be implemented in future weather radar systems are: (1) conventional radar, that is, non-coherent radar, which is able to measure radar reflectivity only, ignoring polarization features of the signal; (2) coherent (Doppler) radar that can measure Doppler spectrum parameters; (3) polarimetric radar, which takes into account signal polarization to improve system performance characteristics. The highest potential can be obtained by the Doppler-polarimetric radar that combine both Doppler and polarimetric diversities to improve detection performances. Single polarization radar permits to detect only the intensity of the meteorological phenomenon, which is anyway, in case of high values, obviously linked to harsh and dangerous conditions, like hailstorms and turbulence. Polarimetric radars can provide more refined information on the type of precipitation once the model of specific hydrometeor (rain, snow or hail) is known. Polarimetry is typically used in meteorological ground radar for weather forecast.
Existing airborne polarimetric radars are mainly used for research purposes, like NASA Airborne Rain Mapping Radar (ARMAR), to remote sensing the weather phenomena, without supporting flight hazard assessment.
In the framework of CLEANSKY Joint Undertaking (JU) European program and specifically in the Clean Sky Systems for Green Operations (SGO) Integrated Technological Demonstrator (ITD), the use of a polarimetric avionic radar has been proposed in the Management of Trajectory and Mission (MTM) study to have more precise information about not forecasted weather phenomena. The goal is to optimize the skipping trajectories in order to minimize the noise pollution and emissions in each flight phase of the airplane. To this purpose, two projects, namely CLEOPATRA and KLEAN, have been sponsored by the JU-SGO for developing an avionic polarimetric radar signal simulator (CleoSim) and the implementation and testing of polarimetric signal processing (AWR processing (AWRP), AWR post-processing (AWRPP)) and trajectory optimization algorithms (developed by Selex Galileo, now Selex Electronic System: SES) on an EFB (Electronic Flight Bag), respectively. An EFB is an electronic display system designed to replace the traditional pilot flight bag and to reduce or eliminate the need for paper and other reference materials in the cockpit.
In the JU-SGO MTM activity, the use of a polarimetric radar simulator has been chosen because of the unavailability of the avionic commercial and/or experimental polarimetric radar among the JU-SGO members and by the difficulty of finding commercial systems. The simulator has the advantage to generate any kind of weather phenomena scenarios, which is of great importance to extensively test signal processing and trajectory optimization algorithms. Obviously, algorithm performance analysis results and its implementation on an EFB are strictly dependent on the reliability of the polarimetric radar simulator. In this context, the availability of real data in a well-monitored scenario would be of great importance to test the quality of the simulator as well as the capability of the algorithms.
2.2 Objectives
In accordance with the background analysis, the MAIN objectives of the project were to plan and run ad hoc measurements finalized to optimize, test and validate:
1 the CleoSim radar signal simulator,
2 the radar signal processing and weather classification algorithms implemented on an EFB in the KLEAN project,
3 the EFB GUI interfaces for the advanced display of weather classifications and decision-making advices developed in KLEAN
To achieve this goal, the following specific objectives have been aimed at:
- X-BAND polarimetric radar overview, selection and acquisition. The radar has been mounted on the nose of airborne platforms for gathering data in presence of weather events in compliance with the JU-SGO goals,
- planning the ad hoc measurement campaign in well-monitored selected scenarios
- experiments conduction and data acquisition,
- optimization and validation of the avionic polarimetric radar signal simulator (CleoSim),
- optimization and validation of the EFB weather radar signal processing and trajectory optimization algorithms (KLEAN project)
- Refinement of the EFB GUI in accordance with the needs resulting from the experimental data analysis
- EFB SW refinement and implementation to a level TRL5 (Technology Readiness Level 5)

2.3 Innovative contributions of the project
The innovative contributions of the project are:
- analysis, selection and customization of experimental avionic radar with system characteristics suitable to be installed on an airborne platform and to carry out measurements also in strong meteorological conditions.
- avionic polarimetric data acquisition in meteorological conditions selected and monitored during the measurement by auxiliary polarimetric weather ground-based radars and in situ meteorological sensors,
- optimization and validation of the CleoSim radar simulator in meteorological scenarios a priori characterized by auxiliary sensors,
- optimization and validation the radar signal processing and weather classification algorithms in comparison with other external radar data and in situ meteorological sensors.
- reliability test of the trajectory optimization algorithms through the use of a mission/flight simulator that reproduces the measurement conditions, in which the optimum trajectories estimated by the real data are applied.
- validation and reliability testing of the customized EFB developed in KLEAN to real operative scenarios.
2.4 Progress beyond the state of the art
From the technical background analysis we can arise that the current commercial avionic radars mainly operate in single polarization even if there exists some experimental avionic polarimetric radars for testing and measurement. It is obvious that the cost for avionic polarimetric radar is higher than for the single polarization one, therefore the advantages in terms of weather classification and its use for trajectory optimization must be quantitatively demonstrated in order to show the significant gain. The development of new signal processing and trajectory optimization algorithms done within framework of JU-SGO aimed to this purpose. In these programmes, an avionic polarimetric signal simulator, called CleoSim, was developed to have data on which the processing and trajectory optimization algorithms implemented on an EFB could be tested. The main drawback of this approach is related to the certainness of the reliability of such a simulator, whose performance clearly affects the algorithm behaviour. Moreover, for the algorithm testing point of view, the use of simulated data is always a limitation for the analysis goodness and for its behaviour when implemented on EFB.
For the sake of clarity, the current state of the art is hereunder summarized:
1) Most of the commercial avionic radars have a single polarization .
2) Experimental airborne polarimetric radar exists but they are unavailable among the JU-SGO members.
3) Avionic polarimetric radar signal simulators are not available in the open market, therefore a new ad hoc simulator, named CleoSim, have been developed in the framework of JU-SGO.
4) New algorithms for polarimetric data processing and trajectory optimization have been developed and implemented on EFB but their validation has been only carried out making use of simulated data coming from CleoSim, which suffers of some limits related to the accuracy of the employed models.
The progress beyond the state of the art given by X-WALD project is:
- selection and/or updating existing polarimetric radar to be installed on an airborne platform robust enough to also take measurement during strong weather events in compliance with the cases of the JU-SGO program.
- organize a measurement campaign to obtain real data, which will be used for the algorithm performance analysis as well as to assess the reliability of the signal simulator.
- carry on an extensive validation of algorithms running in the customized EFB of the KLEAN project and a reliability analysis of the signal simulator through the use of the observed real data.
- use of ancillary data coming from auxiliary sensors (polarimetric ground radar and meteorological sensor) to crosscheck the outcomes of the data analysis with in situ measurements.
The added value of the X-WALD approach is the uniqueness of such kind of measurement in real scenarios to validate and refine a polarimetric signal simulator, which it will represent an useful tool for designing and testing real polarimetric radar. The data acquired during the X-WALD flight campaigns also allows a quantitative analysis of the EFB algorithm performance to really estimate the actual gain offered by polarimetric radars with respect to classic single polarized radar.
2.5 Project work plan
The X-WALD project has been implemented through the following eight Work Packages, those numbered from 3 to 7 concerning research and development activities:
WP1 - Project management: This WP primarily aimed at providing a structured system for the full administrative and technical management of the project, addressing all methods of risk management, quality assurance and confidentiality including Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) handling.
WP2– Analysis of the signal models, processing algorithms and EFB implementation: this WP aimed at finding what are the critical aspects and limits on the reliability of simulator and algorithms caused by the accuracy of models and absence of real data.
WP3 – X-band avionic polarimetric radar selection and acquisition: the goals of this WP were: an overview of the existing X-band airborne polarimetric radar, the selection of the radar, the radar updating in order to fulfil the expected performance and the definition of the modalities for the radar acquisition.
WP4– Measurement campaign planning: this WP included the following activities: the definition of the measurement scenario, the selection of the areas where the trials could be run, the selection of the airborne platforms, the definition and selection of auxiliary sensors.
WP5 – Experiment and data acquisition: this WP aimed at carrying out all activities related to the preparation and execution of the experiments. The radar was installed in the nose of the airborne platforms in order to reproduce the avionic radar operating conditions.
WP6 – Meteorological signal models assessment and optimization: this WP concerned the validation and optimization of the polarimetric signal simulator making use of real data gathered during the experiments.
WP7 – EFB processing algorithms assessment and optimization: This WP aimed at the testing and the optimization of the SW tools inside the EFB: the Advanced Weather Radar processing (AWRP), the AWR Post-Processing (AWRPP) for feature extraction, identification and classification of weather, the Q-AI trajectory optimization algorithm and the advanced GUI interfaces.
WP8 – Exploitation and dissemination: This WP outlined how to develop the exploitation and the dissemination of the XWALD results in the SGO CLEANSKY program, in other European projects (FP7, H2020. etc), manufacturing industries and in the technical and scientific community, following Clean Sky JU directives.

Project Results:
The content of this section can be found in the attachment

Potential Impact:
4.1 Expected impact
The aim of the CleanSky System for Green Operations ITD, and specifically the Management of Trajectory and Mission (MTM) work package, is to demonstrate that the mitigation of external noise generated by the aircraft and the reduction of emissions (main environmental goals of ACARE, the European Technology Platform for Aeronautics and Air Transport) can be supported by the prediction of the new Green trajectory development.
To this purpose, avionic polarimetric radar has been proposed as a new advanced system to better sensing weather phenomena. New polarimetric radar signal processing algorithms has been developed for weather classification as well as trajectory optimization techniques based on Q-AI approach. Such algorithms have been implemented in an EFB in the KLEAN project and tested on simulated data generated by the CleoSim signal simulator realized in the CLEOPATRA project . Algorithm assessment is strongly affected by the reliability of the radar data simulator, therefore it is not really clear if any conclusion coming out from the performance analysis results is not really clear if it is due to the algorithm behaviour or if they are partially influenced by the processed data.
X-WALD will give a concrete solution to these doubts by planning specific measurements planned and tailored to validate and refine both the CleoSim and the weather classification algorithms
The results of X-WALD will have a strong impact on the MTM work packages and on the whole SGO-ITD partner member because:
1) A reliable avionic polarimetric weather radar simulator will be available that represents a valuable tool for generating any kind of radar data in any weather condition, so saving money and effort in conducting a multitude of real measurements.
2) The benefits of the weather classification and trajectory optimization algorithms to the reduction of noise pollution and gas emissions will be quantitatively demonstrate on real data.
3) Tests on the behaviour of the EFB in a real scenarios can be conducted also assessing the impact that these new decision-aid tools have on the pilots.

4.2 Dissemination of the project

The dissemination of the project results has been carried out in two different ways: internal and external dissemination actions.
- Internal dissemination: the dissemination among the consortium partners has been done through the organization of internal meeting operated by audio or video conferences or held directly in the main sites of participants. Internal reports facilitated the divulgation of technical results among the project consortium staff.
- External dissemination: External dissemination has been carried out in four different ways.
(a) project web site (http://xwald.cnit.it)
(b) one open workshops addressed for the Cleansky community
(c) Participation to international scientific conferences
(d) Participation to Exhibition and DEMO sessions of international conference/events

4.3 Exploitation of the project
The results of the project can be provided useful benefits to existing correlated EU projects such as FP6 FLYSAFE (on flight safety), FP7 ALICIA (on operative conditions) SESAR (on overall air traffic optimization), SANDRA (on next generation of air-to-ground telecommunication systems) and CLEANSKY (on air traffic optimization to reduce emissions and noise pollution).
Specifically, X-WALD will represent an useful procedure to verify how much the pilot decision support will have an impact in the flight green trajectory, if these new EFB algorithm could also have an interest influence on flight safety (the optimized trajectories must continue the avoidance of hazard situations), and finally having a better characterization of weather phenomena.
4.4 Management of intellectual property rights
The X-WALD participation will agree, before project start, on rules defining the access rights to the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) on the Knowledge and on the pre-existing know-how, for the purpose of the achievement of the project on one side, and for further exploitation of those results on the other side.

4.5 Contribution to European Competitiveness
As explained in the impact section, X-WALD could be considered as a reference model for measurement planning with avionic polarimetric radar. Moreover, assessment and validation of the X-WALD data can also injected in the Mission/flight simulator to test the benefits produced by the EFB weather algorithms.
European dissemination throughout the Europe also allows stakeholders to have a clear idea of the project results and show it to the air transport community, with a right level of new know how.
All these aspects are in the direction of providing significant gain in Europe, both individually and collectively, to have a tangible impact for return of investment on Europe.

List of Websites:
5.1 Address of project public website

http://xwald.cnit.it

5.2 Relevant contact details

Person Role Email
Fabrizio Berizzi Primary Project co-ordinator-CNIT RaSS fabrizio.berizzi@iet.unipi.it
Fabrizio Cuccoli Scientific co-ordinator-CNIT RaSS fabrizio.cuccoli@cnit.it
Paola Magri Administrative co-ordinator - CNIT paola.magri@cnit.it
Alberto Lupidi WP leader- CNIT RaSS Alberto.lupidi@unipi.it
Alessandro Coccia WP leader - MS alex.coccia@metasensing.com
Stefano Lischi WP leader - CNIT RaSS Stefanoi.lischi@unipi.it
Fabio Milani WP leader - IDS f.milani@idscorporation.com

Related information

Contact

FABRIZIO Berizzi, (FULL PROFESSOR)
Tel.: +39 335 6813113
Fax: +39 0502217535
E-mail
Record Number: 193298 / Last updated on: 2017-01-10