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Knowledge-based EFB for green flight trajectory decision aid

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Improved pilot awareness in bad weather conditions

EU-funded researchers have developed an advanced tool to help flight crew choose the optimal aircraft flight trajectory. This customised electronic flight bag (EFB) shows the flight trajectory on a map and the risk level of weather phenomena encountered en route.

Industrial Technologies

Flight plans are currently calculated before take-off in order to optimise fuel consumption using information available from weather predictions. Changes to the route are decided by the pilot during the flight based on data about unexpected weather conditions that are collected by radars on the nose of the aircraft. With the proper software implementing quasi-artificial intelligence (QAI) and data fusion for the optimum usage of information available on board, pilots can make informed decisions. The wrong trajectory change, in response to a meteorological hazard, could result in increased fuel consumption and pollutant emissions. With EU financial support, the KLEAN (Knowledge-based EFB for green flight trajectory decision aid) project developed such a knowledge-based EFB. Including new functions such as real-time optimal planning of the aircraft path, the tool contributes to lessening an aircraft's environmental impact. Specifically, the tool includes software packages implementing advanced weather radar post-processor (AWRP) and QAI algorithms for green aircraft trajectories. A customised graphical user interface enables display of information, whereas input/output interfaces support communication with internal and external sensors as well as flight simulators. Starting with a commercial EFB, KLEAN project partners worked on refining AWRP and QAI agent algorithms before integrating these software packages with the EFB. They also developed and tested a demonstrator and, lastly, shifted their focus to defining a roadmap for certification of the new system. With more precise and reliable green trajectories, optimised for minimum noise and pollutant emissions, the KLEAN system will contribute to achieving the environmental goals of the Advisory Council for Aviation Research and Innovation in Europe (ACARE). More importantly, improvements in on-board equipment will provide pilots with tools needed for reducing risks related to flight trajectories and improving the comfort of passengers.

Keywords

Weather conditions, aircraft, flight trajectory, electronic flight bag, KLEAN

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