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Initial Trajectory Information sharing

Initial trajectory sharing has been researched in the SESAR programme. Full details of the SESAR Solutions can be found on the SESAR web site[[]] or in the Solutions Catalogue[[]]. As a guide, SESAR solution 115 “Initial Trajectory Information Sharing” is the most relevant solution demonstration activity. Note that Solution 115 is under development and is, at the time of writing, not yet published.

The airborne trajectory prediction done by the Flight Management System (FMS) takes into account flight performance data that is updated in real time during the execution phase, such as descent planning information, aircraft weight, and the most updated temperature and wind predictions. This solution allows the downlinking of data based on the airborne trajectory prediction using the Extended Projected Profile (EPP), as defined by the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network Baseline 2 (ATN B2). The downlinked data is used by the ground systems to enrich their trajectory prediction.

The topic is subject to on-going Industrial Research (IR) and Very Large Scale Demonstration (VLD) activities within the SESAR 2020 programme. This project must ensure that its activities are coordinated with parallel projects working in this area. In particular, this action follows on from the project PJ31 DIGITS funded under call H2020-SESAR-2015-2. Consortia applying for this topic must include at least one AU, and may include additional entities provided their role in supporting the demonstration from the AU perspective is adequately justified in the proposal.

Demonstration flights shall take place in the area controlled by the following ACCs: Maastricht, Karlsruhe and London. Participating Airspace Users (AU) will not need to dispatch any flights for the sole purpose of the demonstrations, i.e. participation shall always be through revenue flights. It is desirable that a variety of airframes participate in this demonstration, so as to be representative of the fleet operating in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) EUR region. Applicants should demonstrate how their flying programme will provide the benefits expected to be derived from the project.

It is a pre-requisite for each airframe taking part in this demonstration that it is equipped with datalink able to deliver “Best in Class” performance as defined by the ELSA report [8] Each airframe taking part in this demonstration will need to be equipped with ATN B2 communications equipment, potentially including the full automatic upload onto the FMS of uplinked Controller Pilot Datalink Communications (CPDLC) commands. ATN B2 upgraded aircraft will need to retain their ATN B1 equipment, and will need to be capable of either switching between one and the other or operating them in parallel as required by the demonstration. The upgrade of Flight Management Systems (FMS) to DO236C standards may also be necessary.

The final equipment and configuration will need to have final airworthiness approval by EASA. The cost of those upgrades to the avionics that are necessary for the demonstration will be eligible for co-financing under this grant.

During the demonstration flights, flight crews will be required to perform the tasks associated with the management of the newly installed equipment, but will otherwise be expected to conduct their flights as usual in order to provide realistic data for the operational evaluation of the concept of air/ground trajectory synchronization. The demonstration may include the uplink through ATB B2 CPDLC of 3D routes (e.g. descent routes with constraint along the way). 3D routes may be uplinked without a clearance (e.g. through EXPECT CPLDC messages) in accordance with the innovative share-the-ground-plan concept, in order to allow the FMS to anticipate the descent profile before a clearance can be effectively delivered by ATC.

The expected involvement of consortia answering to this open call shall be in accordance to the following requirements:

  • AUs shall perform the demonstrations in collaboration with parallel demonstration projects dealing with the same subject to develop the concept of the demonstrations, participation in activities preparing the trials, participation in periodic follow-up meetings, production of all the documentation related to the demonstration as well as results dissemination and communication activities. Output from the demonstration shall include a report by each participating AU containing a full analysis of the impact of the procedures on AU performance.

  • Participating AUs will not need to dispatch any flights for the sole purpose of the demonstrations, i.e. participation shall always be through revenue flights. Participating AUs shall provide to the ANSP relevant data from their revenue flights for the operational evaluation of the performance of the concepts under demonstration. These data may include, among others, questionnaires or other feedback by airline staff (flight-crews and/or Airline Operations Centre (AOC) personnel), fuel burn data (potentially including suitably aggregated and de-identified FDR data), scheduling and punctuality data and descent efficiency data.

  • In addition to the aforementioned data, it would be preferable that a log of how each individual demonstration flight was managed (flight crew FMS/Flight Control Unit (FCU) automatically-recorded flight-crew input log and data and voice communications log) was made available for the portion of the flight in which the demonstration takes place. This detailed log is valuable in order to perform a comparison against the downlinked EPP data logs, with the objective of better understanding the interrelation of operational flight management actions and the data that is downlinked from the aircraft. AUs applying for this call must specify in their bid if they will provide these logs, and if so they must also describe how they will ensure that the confidentiality and access rights of the participating flight crews are respected.

This demonstration will demonstrate the airborne aspects of the synchronization of the air and ground views of the trajectory based on the downlinking of the Automatic Dependent Surveillance (Contract) (ADS-C) Aeronautical Telecommunications Surveillance Baseline 2 (ATN B2) Extended Projected Profile (EPP) data from aircraft to the ground systems, in accordance with the provisions of the PCP AF#6.

With reference to the SJU Annual Work Programme 2016, this topic covers Section 3.5.4 sub Work area 2.1 topic d).

The collection of ADS-C data from revenue flights operated from different AUs in a variety of operational conditions is necessary in order to understand the impact of a diversity of operating practices on the data that is effectively downlinked. This will allow the fine tuning of the requirements for the integration of the downlinked data into the ground systems.

This demonstration will pave the way for the implementation of the AF6 of the PCP. The synchronization of the air and ground trajectories is expected to bring benefits in terms of flight efficiency, mainly by enabling better descent profiles and improved arrival sequencing. The better quality of the ground trajectory prediction will also allow the improvement of the tools that support controllers, thereby increasing ANS productivity. Results of the demonstration should quantify performance improvements resulting from the demonstration flights, using, as a minimum, relevant KPAs from the performance framework defined in the ATM Master Plan.