Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


PARTAKE Report Summary

Project ID: 699307
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PARTAKE (cooPerative depArtuRes for a compeTitive ATM networK sErvice.)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

• What is the problem/issue being addressed?
The PARTAKE project enhances air space user’s trajectory preferences relying on robust Trajectory Based Operation (TBO) mechanism by relaxing tight interdependencies between trajectories. The underlying philosophy is to capitalize present freedom degrees between layered Air Traffic Management (ATM) planning tools, when sequencing departures at airports by considering the benefits of small departures time changes by Air Traffic Controllers (ATCos) at tactical phase.
PARTAKE focuses on improving the air traffic dynamic demand capacity balance by using means of the prompt identification of proximate events at network level, the re‐adjustment of take‐off times within the assigned nominal Calculated-Take-Off-Time (CTOT) margins and the rearrangement of departing sequence of aircraft at the involved airports to minimize the amount of ATC interventions. It can be considered as short term Air Traffic Flow and Capacity Management (ATFCM) measures, applied at local level and reducing traffic peaks for the whole European airspace.
This project contributes to the research topic Trajectory Based Operation (TBO) that enhances the design of new Decision Support Tools (DST) that could deal with present demand or capacity balance in Air Traffic Management (ATM) relying on a technological framework for information sharing (SWIM). The main TBO challenge PARTAKE is facing is to reach a conflict-free robust set of Reference Business Trajectory (RBT) just by introducing small temporal adjustments. PARTAKE is using the TBO approach preserving the 3D components of the Reference Business Trajectories (RBT’s) but adjusting the time component by means of micro-ground delays, providing a new smart mechanism to support conflict resolution (CR) collaborative-competitive tools with minimum ATC interventions.

• Why is it important for society?
The motivation for the PARTAKE project is that European Air Traffic Management (ATM) system has to be competitive, supporting up to a certain extent the Airspace User (AU’s) demands at the right time (ie. departure slots), at the right cost (ie. suitable level of ATC service) at the right place (ie. AU’s preferred trajectories) and at the right service quality (ie. safety) without extra investments, just by removing the ATM non-added-value operations that somehow indirectly impact on present ATM capacity. It is well accepted that a major limitation of current ATM system is the loss of effectiveness due to the limited integration between the layered planning Decision Support Tools (DST’s). While Trajectory Based Operation (TBO) concept enhance the design of new DST’s that could deal with present demand/capacity balance in ATM, relying on a technological framework for information sharing (SWIM - System Wide Information Management), a word of caution come into view at practical level: ATM stakeholders realize that technological flexibility is not synonymous of performance.

• What are the overall objectives?
Aligned with the ATM mission to preserve even improve the maximum level of safety, while achieving the maximum levels of Efficiency and Resilience it is broadly recognized that these challenges can only be obtained by improving the current levels of Predictability and Flexibility, provided by the ATM planning layers. Furthermore, AU’s shall know that any change in their initial intentions is always done in order to maximise the overall system efficiency and driven by Fairness and Equity criterion. This can only be understood by the highest level of Transparency.
To address the above challenges which currently limit the benefits that could be obtained by a proper deployment of DST’s relying on TBO concepts, PARTAKE project will address the following key objectives:
• To Achieve ATC Minimum Tactical Interventions: Reference Business Trajectories provide an excellent source of information to identify long time in advance situations in which 2 or more aircraft could require ATC directives to maintain the required separation minima.
• To identify TBO interdependencies: Traffic complexity is inherent to the scalability problem of cause effect reactions between different actors sharing a common resource.
• To determine feasible departure configurations: Constraint programming (CP) is an emergent software technology for declarative description and effective solving of large, particularly combinatorial, problems especially involving scheduling, resource allocation, placement and planning.
• To develop a TBO Service Oriented “Information Management” Platform: To address the challenge of transparency, the project will rely on using SWIM to enable more cost and time efficient exchange of information between AU’s and ATM stakeholders.
• To maximize trajectory adherence at key waypoints: RBT relying only on deterministic assumptions will generate a weak and lack of robust predictability system. Time trajectory adherence can be improved by computing the speed change combinations to improve clearance robustness at identified TBO interdependencies supporting a fine tuning algorithm to tackle stochastic problems while mitigating an important source of some emergent dynamics.
• To verify and validate the implemented Tools. A cultural change from fierce competition to a friendly competition through cooperation requires some evidences of the benefits that can be achieved by the different stakeholders supporting each particular business model.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The following tasks were performed from the beginning to the end of the reporting period and the following main results were achieved:

WP1 – Requirements and Business Case Summary
Work Package WP1 will be used as the basis work to support the main tasks of PARTAKE. First, it is identified “What” and “How” this project is going to be performed by describing in detail its main scope and formalizing the different requirements to achieve the proposed objectives. This package includes the identification of the project objectives and it describes in detail the capabilities of the technical tools that will be used to achieve these purposes. Finally, it is produced a Business Case document that explains the benefits of PARTAKE, identifies the major stakeholders including their needs and concerns and defines a strategy based on expert criteria and assumptions to carry out this project.
T1.1 – TBO Requirements
Task 1.1 addressed the definition of requirements and the Concept of Operations of PARTAKE. It has been analysed the current systems, an overview of demand and capacity-balancing process and established the basic elements that compose the testing and validation scenarios.
T1.2 - Evaluation Strategy:
After an analysis of stakeholders involved in PARTAKE, their expectations and their criterions for acceptance of the concept, the main areas of performance to be evaluated in PARTAKE have been identified. Performance indicators have been defined for each of those performance areas, that will reflect how PARTAKE meets the needs and expectations of stakeholders. In order to drive the evaluation process, scenarios have been defined that reflect the typical use of PARTAKE, and evaluation methods for these scenarios have been proposed and described. A strategy for safety assessment has been developed. The deliverable for this task has been produced and submitted on 30/08/2016.
T1.3 Stakeholder Satisfaction
This task consists of the designing of a customized Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) questionnaire, in order to evaluate the acceptability of the implemented method. This methodology is developed based upon a combination of the available literature and the experiences of the partners, with a view to determine two goals: the understanding of usefulness and “easy of use”.
To achieve both goals, Consortium has developed a website application and has been working on these key items identification:
• Relevant questions
• Assignment of questions grouped by stakeholders
• How to contact stakeholders
• How to maximize questionnaire answered rates
• Data analysis scope
• Personal data management
T1.4 – Business Case
Task 1.4 addressed the definition of a business case including the main objectives of the project. The report includes a top-level analysis of the operational context of PARTAKE, the test and validation tasks and the limits and geographical scope of the project. The business case identifies the needs and concerns of major stakeholders based on pre-defined operational scenarios and assumptions and shows how PARTAKE could improve the current operational scenario.

WP2 – TBO Mapping Tools
WP2 has started on 1st of June 2016 and therefore is active during three month for this reporting period. This WP is dedicated to the design and development of trajectory mapping tools relying on TBO foundations using a computational efficient algorithm that combines macro-mapping and micro mapping together with an intelligent filter for determining the temporal looseness (i.e. the overlap or clearance between aircraft pairs).
T2.1 – TBO Mapping Tools
This task is active since June 2016 and started with the design of the TBO mapping tools. The task aims at specifying all the tools to be implemented in PARTAKE, relying on well accepted design best practices.
T2.2 SWIM Connector
PARTAKE tools requires of different data models and sources for supplying trajectories, weather, and operational constrains among others. The Data Extraction, Transformation and Loading (ETL) process is currently designed and implemented at the PARTAKE tools Data Layer in order to import data from DDR2 but it should be extended to be compatible with actual data from the SWIM source in order to establish a permanent connection and implementing new modes of abstraction of various data (meteorological, airspace capacity, etc.).
The implementation of the SWIM –System Wide Information Management– concept will enable direct ATM business benefits to be generated by assuring the provision of commonly understood quality information delivered to the right people at the right time.
T2.3 Macro- and Micro-mapping modules
This task will develop a module that allows the mapping of all en route trajectories over the European airspace and the detection of tight trajectory interdependencies.

WP3 - Causal Model of Trajectory Interdependencies
The objective of this work package that is active since June 2016 is to develop a model suitable for a better understanding of the different interdependencies between trajectories, which can require an ATC directive to preserve separation minima.
T3.1 Definition and Modelling of Requirements
Task 3.1 addressed the definition of PARTAKE time-dependency model. The model defines a set of time-stamp domains that support the CTOT re-adjustment process. This report includes a study of the cause-effects relationship between the elements of the model. Lastly, it has been defined a set of top-level requirements to support and guide the development phase of PARTAKE.
T3.2 Coloured Petri Net Specification of dynamic time-dependency dynamics
The main objective of this task will be to analyze the interdependencies between trajectories provided by the spatio-temporal filter (T2.3 and T2.4), to identify topologies of interdependencies that cannot be removed by ground delays constrained by the CTOT time-window.
A CPN model has already been designed to identify deadlock interdependencies between 3 aircraft. Next steps will be to analyze the state space the different interdependencies between 3 aircraft that cannot be solved by coordinating delays and in consequence will lead to a failure in the overall CLP model looking for a feasible solution.

WP4 - Time Stamp Flexible Synchronization Mechanism (outlook start of WP in 2017):
This work package starts in May 2017 and aims at developing a tool that will provide an assignation of takeoff times (within the slot determined at strategic level), so as to ensure proper separation between trajectories at the hotspots identified in WP3. In a second phase, a dynamic version of the tool will be set up in order to handle short term modifications of the planning due to disruptions (flights cancelled, delayed, etc.). If necessary, sparse areas might be filtered out in order to help the tool perform better on dense traffic areas.

WP5 - Dynamic Multiobjective Optimization Model (outlook start of WP in 2017):
The work in WP5 starts in August 2017 and aims at assessing the operational costs incurred by the tools from WP4, and enhance those tools by integrating these costs within the decision making process. Operational costs will be evaluated using the performance indicators defined in WP1, and will reflect airspace users' preferences and fuel cost induced by speed modification.

WP6 – Verification and Validation
Work Package WP6 aims at test and validate PARTAKE. Based on the requirements provided in WP1 the team will be able to identify the performance of the different tools and functionalities that compose the PARTAKE framework. These tasks will take the feedback from ATM experts in order to validate the tool and also it will be tested the project by confronting the PARTAKE results in a simulation that includes a previously-defined real air traffic scenario. The results of this work package will be also analysed in order to identify the real performance of the system and the application of this method in future TBO services.
T6.1 - Verification and Validation
Task 6.1 has started in the last month of the reporting period and addresses the validation and verification of PARTAKE tools. This process includes all the elements that compose the PARTAKE framework. The validation and verification task is performed based on different scenarios and integration problems.
T6.2 - Validation Scenarios (outlook start in October 2017)
Task 6.2 will start in October 2017 and defines the validation scenarios of PARTAKE within a pre-defined operational context. Face validation scenarios will be presented to ATM experts, who will analyse different exercises and provide their feedback. In addition, a Shadow Mode validation strategy will be carried out based on the confrontation of PARTAKE solutions with real traffic scenarios in order to evaluate the ATC interventions and as proof of the benefits and performance of PARTAKE system.

WP7 – Dissemination and Communication
At this stage, WP7 tasks were executed as planned and are focussing on dissemination and communication activities.
T7.1 - Elaboration of a Dissemination and Communication Strategy and Impact assessment
Task 7.1 consists of a high level planning document where the dissemination and communication strategy is embodied.
T7.2 - Graphical identity, website and communication material
Task 7.2 concerns those means to bring into contact PARTAKE with stakeholders through a professional corporate image.
T7.4 - Sustainability and Exploitation Strategy & Actions
Task 7.4 consists on defining the benefits of PARTAKE through the development of an Exploitation Plan and an Exploitation Impact Assessment. The main objective is to guarantee the transfer of the outcomes of the project beyond its life-time and to evaluate the costs savings of the stakeholders provided by PARTAKE methods.

WP8 – Project Management
In general, the objective of this work package is to ensure an efficient and pro-active coordination of the project by administration, organisation, and monitoring of the administrative and financial components of the project.
T8.1 Administrative Coordination and Technical Management of the Project
During this reporting period UAB as the coordinator was on one hand assuring the proper handling of resources by preparing quarterly reports and preparing the Bi-Annual financial statement and on the other hand assured the fast flow of information and project documentation between the project consortium and the European commission.
T8.2 Financial and Accounting Management
This task involves all financial and accounting management aspects of the project. In particular, a financial management platform was set up and the controlling of the overall budget was ensured.
Furthermore, the bi-annual technical and financial report were prepared and quarterly reports have been collected during the entire reporting period to evaluate and control the financial budget within frequent time periods.
T8.3 Project Communication and Knowledge Management
This tasks within the project management ensures a good communication and knowledge management to achieve a successful collaboration among all partners. Therefore, a project intranet on the platform has been established where all partners can access, share comments, upload and store research related documents and first versions of deliverables and can access.

WP9 - Ethics requirements
WP9 is active throughout the entire project lifetime. The objective of the WP is to ensure compliance with the 'ethics requirements' set out in this work package which in particular refers to the following three requirements that have been submitted in in form of a report during the reporting period:

1. The guarantee that all procedures that take action in PARTAKE that deal with data collection, storage, protection, retention, destruction and confirmation comply with national and EU legislation.
2. Provide information on the consent form to be signed by “data subjects” before filling the questionnaire.
3. Provide detailed information on the consent form to be signed by “data subjects” before participate in an interview or validation workshop.

Summary of achieved main results:
The following main results have been achieved during this reporting period:
- Definition of the TBO requirements
- Definition of the evaluation strategy
- TBO mapping tools design
- Definition and Modelling of Requirements of Trajectory Interdependencies
- Set-up of a communication and dissemination strategy and plan
- Project Website (
- Project management plan

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

In summary, it is expected that PARTAKE operational frame produces and supports:

The PARTAKE project will provide a set of mechanisms to enhance TBO concepts while enabling a more effortless and transparent interaction between the ATM DST’s. Furthermore, predictability is a fundamental TBO requirement, which must coexist with flexibility in a dynamic environment subject to different sources of disturbances and perturbations. To improve ATM performance, flexibility should match the demand with minimum distortions to the AU’s needs.
PARTAKE mechanism will support flexible synchronization enhancing both predictability and adherence by analysing the hidden freedom gaps that now a days are not capitalized due to a lack of causal analysis tools to cope with ATM complexity.

PARTAKE algorithms try to minimize ATC directives by a multiechelon approach transforming tight trajectory interdependencies into robust clearances. These new smart time stamp adjustments will be aware of the environment in which they are operating and their freedom gap degree for an optimal combination of trajectories enabling in this way the future implementation of self-monitoring methods. Moreover the capability to communicate and distribute transparent relevant data after the RBT agreement process, enhances TBO to a higher level of fairness and equity criterion preserving AU’s preferences and resilience by improving departure clearances.

Related information

Record Number: 196246 / Last updated on: 2017-03-28