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Innovation in CNS to enable Digitalised Operations


The full range of research that could be covered in this topic is broad; the application areas mentioned here are merely indicative. Projects may target implementation in the mid-term or could address timeframes up to those of the Flightpath 2050 vision document.

Please note that this is an application-oriented research topic. Proposals for this topic must describe a concrete new CNS enabler for ATM or a new CNS use for ATM of an existing enabler and describe how they will undertake its initial validation, with the ultimate goal of either proposing its inclusion in the ATM Master Plan for further development or discarding it.

The SJU has identified the following application areas of interest:

Application area 1: Low cost alternative Position, Navigation and Timing (A-PNT) for General Aviation and drones

The research aims at defining, developing and validating a concept of alternative positioning, navigation and timing (A-PNT) for small aircraft (GA, Ultra-Light (UL) Aircraft, Very Light Aircraft (VLA), Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)) to meet the requirements in PBN/RNP operations in case of a GNSS degradation or outage. This standard and low-cost A-PNT concept and system would allow the integration of these airspace users in an efficient and non-discriminatory manner while ensuring safety and security levels and the desired performance gains in terms of resilience and cost efficiency.

The research may address, for example:

  • The assessment of innovative technologies such as inertial systems, low cost atomic gyroscopes and accelerometers and radio altimeters that allow consolidating the on-board computed position as well.
  • The development of Innovative new vision based navigation system for these AUs consisting of image processing algorithms and their potential combination with GNSS to increase access.
  • The potential civil-military interoperability and synergies. The potential use of low-cost on-board solutions that meet PBN requirements, on the basis of the reutilisation or adaptation of currently available capabilities, is of utmost importance for State aircraft operations;
  • The specific requirements for auto land for smaller independent on ILS system, based on GPS, inertial positioning and other sensors to increase the vertical accuracy e.g. radar tracker, LIDAR, radio altimeters or vision based navigation. This shall take into consideration work under WG-105.

This research in this application area may build on previous SESAR ER project NAVISAS or propose alternative approaches. Proposals for work in this area must explain how their work is positioned.

Application area 2: Improving security and resilience against GNSS threats

For the medium and long term, it is expected that Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) will become the primary means of aircraft navigation. However, satellite navigation receivers are vulnerable to intentional or not-intentional threats/interferences (especially to jamming and spoofing) which may cause the total loss of navigation with the subsequent implications for the navigation services based on GNSS (or its augmented derivatives).

The research shall:

  • Propose solutions to improve security and enhance resilience against these threats;
  • Develop a new concept for the GNSS interference air navigation threat's management, based on implementing detection and localization of jamming and spoofing on-board the aircrafts.
  • Assess and validate the proposed algorithms to detect and localize the interference.

The research shall take into consideration the work and results GATEMAN is expected to provide up to the end of 2019.

Application area 3: Improving cybersecurity on CNS services

In anticipation of future more secured performance based CNS, there is a need to make CNS services more secure and resilient against cyber-threats. The research may propose effective and automated solutions for intrusion detection and identify security controls and associated security requirements. The research shall also propose potential mitigation measures in case CNS services are breached.

The solution shall consider (if applicable) the work performed by SESAR solutions on cyber-security as an input to the study and consolidate their analysis on existing and future vulnerabilities.

The scope of the work may be limited to a few selected services e.g. PBN services, surveillance service, etc. and shall complement the top-down vision as defined in Industrial Research activities e.g. PJ.14-01-01 and PJ.14-W2-76.

Application area 4: Manned and un-manned aircraft protection from non-cooperative targets

The increasing number of drones is causing safety and security concerns within the aviation industry. A number of collisions between aircraft and drones have been already reported worldwide, and this number will likely increase in the coming future if nothing changes. This research area covers the development of non-cooperative detection. Proposals for work in this area must demonstrate knowledge of the state-of-the-art in sensors for non-cooperative detection, propose an innovative detection application, and describe how they will undertake its initial validation. The proposals must explain the high level performance requirements they will validate their innovative against and how they relate to an operational need. The work plan must include the derivation of lower level operational requirements and the initial validation of the application. The validation of the avoid manoeuvres is out of the scope for this CNS topic.

Please note that SESAR has previous ER work in this area by project PercEvite, which is ongoing. Proposals for work in this area should review PercEvite’s publicly available material and explain how their proposal is positioned with respect to PercEvite. The proposed work should either build on PercEvite’s work or be complementary to it, but should avoid the repetition of PercEvite’s work. Proposals for work taking a completely different approach from PercEvite are welcome.

Application area 5: Use of 5G for ATM purposes

5G technology is one of the areas that have been more rapidly evolving; it may represent a game changer for connectivity if applied to ATM. Ground-based 5G can release the full potential of satellite based communications, while satcom has also useful properties for 5G in terms of security, resilience, coverage and delivery of broadband. Proposals for work in this application area must propose a satellite and/or ground based 5G application for ATM.

The research in this application area must take into consideration the work done by PJ.14-02-05 on LTE/4G/5G for General Aviation in industrial research and project DroC2om that is working on 4G/5G (and Satcom) in the framework of UAVs. Results from both PJ.14-02-05 and DroC2com are expected at the end of 2019. Projects working in this application area are expected to plan effort to analyse their results and consider how they relate to their work.

Please note that the above list of application areas is not intended as prescriptive. Proposals for work in alternative application areas are welcome, provided adequate justification and background are included in the proposal.

All proposals for work in this topic must consider the top-down iCNS view that is being defined in SESAR’s Wave 1 Industrial Research activities e.g. PJ.14-01-01 whose final publicly available deliverables are expected at the end of 2019, and PJ.14-W2-76. Projects should reserve effort to analyse the output of these IR projects and incorporate them in their research.

Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) is one of the fundamental enablers of the ATM as it supports locating and identifying air vehicles, and exchanging information with and between air vehicles. The research and development for the evolution of the legacy Integrated communications, navigation and surveillance systems to a new integrated approach (iCNS) is already under way in the SESAR IR programme. The iCNS will bring ATM to the next level, with a resilient architectural design that combines satellite and ground-based services. The exploratory research challenge is to develop applications that complement or further develop the work under way in IR, with a particular focus on making it possible for a wider AU community (including GA, drones and the military) to access the most advanced iCNS services. There is also a need to plan how to ensure that the future increased demand for connectivity can be fulfilled.

Successful research in this topic will have the potential to generate high positive benefits for ATM in terms of resource efficient and fit-for-purpose CNS capabilities as well as improvements in security, improved predictability of data link performance, reduced level of air-ground communication issues and improved efficiency of ATM services delivery.