Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


SAPIENT Report Summary

Project ID: 699328
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - SAPIENT (Satcom and terrestrial architectures improving performance, security and safety in ATM)

Reporting period: 2016-04-01 to 2016-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Programme, under the responsibility of SESAR Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) is defining the future European Air Traffic Management System. Communications between air and ground are intended to move from voice based communications to data based communications to enable efforts toward greater efficiency in a context where, additionally, air traffic is expected to increase. Central to the vision of future Air Traffic Management is the concept of 4D trajectory management, which drives the requirements for the Future Communications Infrastructure (FCI).
During the SESAR definition phase (2009), a multilink communication system was identified as the most feasible manner in which to fulfil the performance requirements of the FCI in a cost efficient manner. Within this multilink environment, satellite communication is envisaged to be one of the Air Ground Data Links (AGDL) that will be working together in providing data communications for Air Traffic Management (ATM), contributing to the achievement of the required performances, particularly availability, while complementing terrestrial AGDLs using its inherent advantages of including coverage in oceanic and remote areas with little system impact.
The FCI will be able to manage three Air/Ground (A/G) data links: Terrestrial based communication system (LDACS), Surface communications in airports with high density traffic (AeroMACS) and Satellite based communication system (developed in cooperation with the ESA Iris Programme).
The future Satellite based communication system will allow the aircrafts to use the AOC (Airline Operations Control) and ATS (Air Traffic Services) safety services by a satellite link during the continental flight and during the oceanic and remote flight, including voice service for emergency, non-routine and time-critical situations.
In SESAR Project 15.2.4 “Future Mobile Data Link System Definition” is in charge of defining the FCI, while SESAR Project 15.2.6 “Future mobile satellite communication” has the objectives to define the requirements for the future ATM (Air Traffic Management) aeronautical satellite communication system.
Taking into account the guidelines provide by the mentioned SESAR Phase 1 Project, the SAPIENT (Satellite and terrestrial architectures improving performance, security and safety in ATM) will address a new innovative application in the field of CNS/ATM system focusing improvements to the exploitation of the synergies of Communications and Navigation technologies and the 4D trajectory management concept.

The SAPIENT innovation is based on the idea of the integration of the accurate estimation of the flights 4D trajectories with the data obtained by dynamic and accurate monitoring and measuring of the performance of ATM Air/Ground Datalinks carried out by the aircraft transceivers (satellite and terrestrial communication user terminals) linked to the new navigation infrastructure.
SAPIENT idea is therefore based on including the DL (Data Link) communication resources in the list of the resources to be managed for the determination of the definition of the best DL resource and best 4D trajectory.
The main technical items that will addressed in the SAPIENT Project are:
• The identification of the data link Key Performance Indicators (KPI), that will provide the information related to the terrestrial and satellite data link quality of service. These KPIs will be divided in:
o Real Time KPI
o Periodic KPI
o Statistical
Scope of the activity is also to identify, which KPI will be originated by the aircrafts and which will be originated by the ground
• The identification of the SAPIENT reference architecture (logical and physical), taking into account the FCI inputs and the applicability of the SAPIENT solution both for manned aircrafts scenario and for RPAS scenario
• The definition of the SAPIENT Protocol, including the identification of dimension the KPI associated data traffic dimension, the KPI sharing policy (external and internal to SAPIENT reference system) and the SAPIENT interfaces for data exchanges
• The definition of the security mechanism to foreseen in order to support the SAPIENT solution implementation in the reference environment
• The design and development of a SAPIENT simulator able to support the consolidation of the SAPIENT architecture and protocol definition

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

In the period covered by the present progress report, the SAPIENT Consortium has performed the following activities:
• SAPIENT KO Meeting preparation
• SAPIENT KO Meeting handled in Rome on 2016 April 19th
• Definition of the SAPIENT PMP, including:
o Updated Schedule
o Updated Milestone Plan
o Updated Delivery Plan
o Updated Risk definition
o Updated Dissemination Plan
• Assigned ethic requirements assessment
• Definition of the SAPIENT solution detailed objectives and target benefits
• Definition of the SAPIENT terrestrial and satellite KPI, including the harmonization of the two pre-selected set of parameters
• Definition of the SAPIENT solution requirements
• Definition of the SAPIENT preliminary functional architecture
• Initial definition of the SAPIENT protocol
• Definition of the SAPIENT simulator requirements
• Preliminary design and development of the SAPIENT simulator
• Definition of the SAPIENT preliminary business plan
• Development of the SAPIENT Web-site
• Preliminary SAPIENT solution dissemination activities
• Overall SAPIENT project coordination (technical and managerial) by means of scheduled coordination teleconferences
In this first period of the SAPIENT Project the following main achievement has been reached:
• The consolidated definition of the SAPIENT project objectives and benefits
• The harmonized definition of the SAPIENT KPIs (between terrestrial and satellite data-link)
• The preliminary definition of the SAPIENT reference architecture
• The initial development of the SAPIENT simulator, including preliminary verification activities that has provide feedbacks on the SAPIENT reference architecture definition
• The launch of the SAPIENT website

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)

The expected impacts described of the SAPIENT solution have been refined in the WP2 – D2.1. The use of the SAPIENT system is expected to positively impact to:
1. The efficiency of the data-links management in a multilink environment, resulting in less resources needed by ATM communication system elements, with main focus on effective and efficient use of RF spectrum
2. Communication issues in the ATM air/ground communication minimizing the need of tactical interventions from ATC and pilots to de-conflict situations
3. Communication issues in the RPAS C3 satellite DL minimizing the use of RPAS safety procedure that will limit the execution of the RPAS missions
4. The Air Navigation Service cost providing a cost saving obtained by improving the Air navigation Service productivity and the frequency band usage

In terms of measurable performances, on the basis of the progress activities performed in the first part of the SAPIENT project, it is possible to assess that the implementation of the SAPIENT solution in a multilink environment should allow:
• To reduce the number of handovers during a flight route. It is assumed that the handover process costs some possible loss of data (bits or packets), therefore minimizing the handovers number during a flight route should allow to increase the continuity and availability of the service. The reduction of the handover number should be allowed using the KPIs shared information to identify the best option in planning the route and selecting the data link in not-planned cases
• To improve the integrity, by reduction of data losses (bit, packet or frame). The SAPIENT solution implementation should allow to reduce the Packet Loss Rate (PLR), the Bit Error Rate (BER) or the Frame Error Rate (FER) depending on the selected performance indicator and the applied protocol for DL, therefore it is expected an increased service integrity
• The improve the service continuity with respect to a system not implementing the SAPIENT solution.
• The improve the service availability with respect to a system not implementing the SAPIENT solution.

The proposed solution is aiming at improving the multilink concept in the frame of the FCI defined under SESAR Programme, therefore it will be part of the technological innovations, defined in the ATM Master Plan voted to the improve the:
• The security aspect of the aircrafts and flights, assuring robust and secure communications. The increased security will have a direct impact to the flight passengers reducing the risks for intentional attacks
• The capacity aspect, allowing the more efficient use of the communication resources, with all the related benefits associated for the airspace users and passengers (i.e.: aircraft delays reductions, less flights congestion, etc)
• The environment aspect: supporting the 4D trajectory implementation, will allow to reduce the flight durations with a direct benefits on the CO2 emissions. This will be also translated in less costs for the airspace users that then will allow a reduction of the flights tariffs, bringing an effective benefit to the passengers

These expected positive impacts of the SAPIENT solution implementation will be finally assessed at the end of the SAPIENT project in WP 3.
Record Number: 196388 / Last updated on: 2017-03-29