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All Condition Operations and Innovative Cockpit Infrastructure

Final Report Summary - ALICIA (All Condition Operations and Innovative Cockpit Infrastructure)

Executive Summary:
ALICIA has addressed the challenge of improving time efficiency whilst maintaining safety by developing an All Condition Operations capability for the civil air transport system comprising:
• An Approach Operation Support subsystem to support the approach and landing of aircraft in adverse weather conditions.
• A Taxi Operation Support subsystem to provide pilots with a reliable means to navigate on the aerodrome surface and to identify obstacles on the runway in low visibility conditions.
• An Atmospheric Awareness Support Subsystem to provide the aircrew with a complete and accurate understanding of both the local atmospheric situation and any atmospheric hazards along the flight trajectory.
• A Correlated Surveillance Support Subsystem to provide aircrew operating rotorcraft with extended surveillance capabilities for low altitude operations.
• A Conflict Detection and Resolution module providing prototype algorithms to analyse the impact of airborne traffic and weather on the selected flight route, but moreover establish flight path mitigation strategies to resolve/avoid threat conditions.

ALICIA has performed extensive research into the design approach for future cockpit layouts targeting crew system interfacing (HMI) and cockpit display architectures. The emergence of demanding new flight deck applications to support future operational requirements presents factors likely to constrain the effectiveness of integration using conventional approaches to cockpit layout.
A summary of the key innovations of the research into future cockpit layouts is presented below:
• Integration of innovative avionics technologies and new applications such as those supporting All Condition Operations to respond to the future challenges of aircraft operations.
• Improved methods of operating and managing aircraft systems.
• Competitive and scalable core cockpit architectures applicable to multiple aircraft types; fixed wing and rotorcraft.

The principal outputs of the ALICIA work were illustrated using four separate system concept demonstrator test beds within an integrated test and evaluation activity:
i). A rotorcraft full system integrated cockpit simulator test bed designed to evaluate the ALICIA output in the context of a rotorcraft implementation.
ii). A fixed wing full system integrated cockpit simulator test bed designed to evaluate the ALICIA output in the context of a fixed wing aircraft implementation.
iii). A taxi operation precise positioning test bed designed to evaluate the improvement of the real-time localisation on ground (both accuracy and integrity).
iv). A taxi operation improved vision system test bed designed to evaluate specific technologies for degraded visual conditions.

Project Context and Objectives:
A key challenge for the future air transport system involves the realisation of cockpit systems capable of delivering all-conditions operations to provide:
• A robust worldwide operations capability, allowing aircraft to use airports with less capable ground based approach aids, in a wider range of degraded flight conditions.
• More autonomous aircraft operation, including anticipation and avoidance of weather disturbances and other possible perturbations in-flight and on the ground.
• Improved punctuality while simultaneously enhancing safety.

The ACARE Vision 2020 proposed a goal for an air transport system able to cope with up to three times more aircraft movements when compared to 2004, using new operational concepts and cockpit systems allowing aircraft to operate in all weather conditions, to fly closer together at lower risk and to run on schedule 99% of the time. ALICIA has performed research into a broad spectrum of technological concepts and has addressed key capabilities related to the ACARE goal. Specific emphasis has been placed on the development of aircraft cockpit system concepts and technologies considered to have potential for embodiment across multiple classes of aircraft; both fixed wing and rotorcraft.

Future Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems are set to adopt new operational processes and procedures around the Business Trajectory (BT) concept. The BT will contribute towards the Vision 2020 goals through the implementation of four dimensional (4D) trajectory management, collaborative decision making and new separation modes. Aircraft cockpits, although a small component within the larger ATM system, will be required to provide the necessary capabilities to enable the crew to operate in this future operational context.

ALICIA has addressed the challenge of improving time efficiency whilst maintaining safety by developing an All Condition Operations capability for the civil air transport system comprising:
• An Approach Operation Support subsystem to support the approach and landing of aircraft in adverse weather conditions. This capability is expected to provide benefits whereby aircraft are able to continue the preferred flight operation in conditions that currently cause diversion to alternative airport/landing sites. The primary focus involved establishing solutions delivering an equivalent visual operations (EVO) capability for flight operations in degraded visual conditions.
• A Taxi Operation Support subsystem to provide pilots with a reliable means to navigate on the aerodrome surface and to identify obstacles on the runway in low visibility conditions. This capability is expected to contribute to eliminating runway incursions and other taxi errors and hence make a significant contribution to safety as well as punctuality as traffic volume increases.
• An Atmospheric Awareness Support Subsystem to provide the aircrew with a complete and accurate understanding of both the local atmospheric situation and any atmospheric hazards along the flight trajectory. This will enhance flight safety and support the efficient avoidance of atmospheric related hazards. The anticipation of bad weather conditions and weather hazards will enhance the optimisation of the flight trajectory; improve passenger comfort whilst also providing the accuracy of prediction needed to introduce 4D navigation.
• A Correlated Surveillance Support Subsystem to provide aircrew operating rotorcraft with extended surveillance capabilities for low altitude operations. This subsystem aims to provide the aircrew with an integrated awareness of geographic, atmospheric, obstacle and terrain conflicts.
• A Conflict Detection and Resolution module providing prototype algorithms to analyse the impact of airborne traffic and weather on the selected flight route, but moreover establish flight path mitigation strategies to resolve/avoid threat conditions. The module is intended to augment a conventional Flight Management System (FMS) and thereby provide a capability extension.

ALICIA has performed extensive research into the design approach for future cockpit layouts targeting crew system interfacing (HMI) and cockpit display architectures. The emergence of demanding new flight deck applications to support future operational requirements presents factors likely to constrain the effectiveness of integration using conventional approaches to cockpit layout. Although this represents a challenge for the design process, it presents an opportunity to exploit new technologies and concepts, thereby setting new standards in effective crew station design. It follows that the key advance for ALICIA involved establishing novel crew station design concepts to enable the crew to process and act on increased levels of information using an optimum fusion of visual, tactile and audio senses combined with human motor capability. The application of a holistic and crew-centred design approach sought to produce a more compact and more intuitive crew system interface able to provide the functions required at an acceptable workload level, delivering performance, safety and cost benefits.
A summary of the key innovations of the research into future cockpit layouts is presented below:
• Integration of innovative avionics technologies and new applications such as those supporting All Condition Operations to respond to the future challenges of aircraft operations.
• Improved methods of operating and managing aircraft systems.
• Competitive and scalable core cockpit architectures applicable to multiple aircraft types; fixed wing and rotorcraft.

The current trend of growing complexity in avionic systems is set to continue in response to the demand for greater operational capabilities and system flexibility. However, the level of take up by aircraft operators will be determined by the projected system through-life-costs and the projected return on investment. Within the global landscape of aerospace manufacturing industry, there has been significant change over the last two decades in organizational structures resulting from considerable consolidation (and rationalization) of business enterprises. Although this has brought about positive changes to the industry and direct economic benefits to aircraft operators there is increasing pressure for the European aerospace manufacturing industry to remain competitive and maintain a sustainable presence in what is a globally competitive market. ALICIA sought to confront these challenges by establishing an ambitious project target to explore the potential for establishing a suite of cockpit system design concepts and technology solutions that could be universally applied across multiple transport and commercial aircraft platforms, both fixed wing and rotorcraft. This part of the study was referred to as the ALICIA “Common Concept Cockpit”, endorsing two complementary themes:
• A universal crew station HMI philosophy targeting an extension to existing design standards in order to harmonise the presentation, management and interface methodology of common functions on the flight deck for different types of aircraft platforms.
• Multi-modal input/output technologies targeting intuitive mechanisms for controlling and monitoring aircraft functions, increased situational awareness and workload optimisation.

Supporting logic for the widespread adoption of the universal crew station HMI philosophy and associated interfaces includes the belief that design concepts would be subjected to a broader range of rigorous analysis involving a greater cross-section of aircraft operations for different types of aircraft platforms. Furthermore, widespread standardisation would also reduce overall crew training and type approval times resulting in the reduction of Non-Recurring Expenditure (NRE) in the redesign and qualification of cockpit systems and in the costs of obsolescence management.

Recognising the system certification challenges inherent in the adoption of elements of the ALICIA output, a further goal for the project was to consider how Synthetic Environments (SE) could be used more extensively to assist the system certification process. A survey was conducted and a simple SE process route map was created. Within the context of the evaluation activities, a case study was also conducted and this was used as a means to evidence the feasibility of the proposed approach.

The principal outputs of the ALICIA work were illustrated using four separate system concept demonstrator test beds within an integrated test and evaluation activity. The individual test beds are listed below:
i). A rotorcraft full system integrated cockpit simulator test bed designed to evaluate the ALICIA output in the context of a rotorcraft implementation. This rig was developed by AgustaWestland in Yeovil, UK
ii). A fixed wing full system integrated cockpit simulator test bed designed to evaluate the ALICIA output in the context of a fixed wing aircraft implementation. This rig was developed by Thales Avionics in Bordeaux, France
iii). A taxi operation precise positioning test bed designed to evaluate the improvement of the real-time localisation on ground (both accuracy and integrity). This rig was developed by Thales Avionics in Valence, France.
iv).A taxi operation improved vision system test bed designed to evaluate specific technologies for degraded visual conditions. This rig was developed by Latecoere and ONERA in Toulouse, France.
Project Results:
1). Project Framework

The ALICIA project was constructed around three key technical themes:
• All Condition Operations (ACO)
• New Cockpit Concept
• Simulation/Synthetic Environments

The research was structured into a set of logically scoped work packages involving multi-disciplinary teams. Each work package was assigned specified task objectives (including output deliverables) which were agreed between the participating partners, work package leader and the project management committee. Robust systems engineering processes were employed throughout the project. An early decision was made that the nature of the project required structured methods to compensate for the complexities associated with managing a major project with an ambitious technical remit, involving a large consortium of participants working collectively to address common interests. Overall the work packages were complementary in scope resembling the traditional system engineering “V-model”. Defined work packages were established for the following activities:
• WP1 - Operational Requirements; (capture and analysis)
• WP2 - New Architecture Concept; (full cockpit systems including technological concepts)
• WP3 - Technology Selection & Integration; (hardware and software components)
• WP4 - Application Design & Implementation; (subsystem integration - technology components and software system functions)
• WP5 - Simulation, Evaluation and Assessment; (system integration, structured test evaluation)
• WP6 - Standardisation, Dissemination & Exploitation

The consortium was formed from a broad cross-section of the European aerospace manufacturing industry. The consortium mix was further enriched through the participation of leading European research agencies and universities engaged in the analysis of transport systems and related technologies. During the project 41 Partners from 14 countries participated in the technical research activities; the participation of organisations from outside of the EU also proved to be highly constructive. Partner organisations included large, medium and small enterprises. These are categorised as follows:
• Platform Integrators (8)
• System / Equipment Suppliers (8)
• Technology Specialists (8)
• Research Organisations (7)
• Universities (5)
• Experts (6)

Overall, the consortium performed very effectively with a strong work ethic and willingness to collaborate. On reflection the ALICIA consortium would have benefited from additional specialist skills in the areas of communication datalink technology and air navigation regulation; especially during the process of consolidating the operational requirements and the corresponding formalisation of the detailed project objectives.

An important component of the project skill set involved the contribution made by a panel of external specialists, known as the External Experts Advisory Group (EEAG). These were principally individuals with extensive experience of the wider aerospace industry:
• ATM/ATC (5)
• Certification authorities (2)
• Weather (2)
• Flight deck design (3)
• Crew – rotorcraft (6)
• Crew – fixed wing (11)

The external specialists were invited at key points in the project to appraise the findings of the technical research; this included specialist validation of the work performed and guidance recommendations relating to the focus for ongoing tasks. A significant investment was made by the project to deliver this dimension of the project. In return, the quality and quantity of feedback provided by the external specialists added very significantly to the achievements of the ALICIA project.

2). Operational Requirements (WP1)
The objectives for the work package involved establishing a consolidated set of user and system requirements. These requirements were needed to provide the core reference framework for follow-on activities tasked with generating the ALICIA cockpit concepts and developing the prototype technological solutions. Capturing of the operational context for civil fixed wing and rotorcraft platforms operating in managed and unmanaged airspace (current and future) formed an important part of the task remit. Emphasis was placed on identifying the required future airspace infrastructure, the associated aircraft system applications and the technologies necessary to deliver efficient operations in adverse weather conditions. All phases of airborne flight and ground manoeuvre were addressed.

A broad range of information sources was used to inform the requirements capture process and drive the analysis activities. Keystone documents from ICAO (e.g. Global Air Navigation Plan, Global Air Traffic Management Operational Concept, Performance Based Transition Guidelines) provided essential guidance on the target strategies for management of the future global air traffic system. Published outputs from the European future ATM research programme SESAR provided much of the detailed guidance on the implementation of the European future airspace concept. The initial release of the “European ATM Master Plan” provided the basis(*) for alignment of the ALICIA operational requirements for future managed airspace. An early observation of the SESAR publications revealed that the ConOps focus was airline-centric and lacking clarity of the airspace operations for General Aviation and Rotorcraft sectors. In response, a set of assumptions were defined to be used for the ALICIA studies covering operations in unmanaged airspace with an emphasis on Degraded Visual Environments and necessary minimum equipment requirements.
[* note: subsequent release of the second edition of the “ATM Master Plan” (2012) and the “SESAR Concept of Operations - Step 1” provided further details relating to the implementation plans; aspects of this information were used to inform the ALICIA concept evaluation and technology exploitation planning process.]

In mid-2011, the SESAR programme published a report that endeavoured to elaborate on the ConOps for General Aviation and Rotorcraft. It was encouraging to discover that the published position was tightly aligned and consistent in scope with the assumptions made almost twelve months earlier by the ALICIA consortium.

The anticipated timeline for the exploitation of the ALICIA concepts and technologies covered a far reaching period from 2015 and upward to circa 2030. It follows that for some of the more challenging ALICIA conceptual and technological themes, the operational context extended beyond the current focus of the current ATM modernisation programmes such as SESAR & NextGen. Typically, these programmes acknowledged the potential for future extensions to the operational context, however, there was insufficient detail supporting the long-term development and deployment planning to fully validate the compatibility with the ALICIA concepts and technologies.

The work of industrial standardisation organisations (e.g. EUROCAE and RTCA) in the area of technologies addressing future ATM, degraded visual operations and ground manoeuvre positively contributed to the study. Safety and performance criteria relevant to the ALICIA project scope was captured and synthesised into the ALICIA study objectives.

To complement the literature review, a series of interviews were held with aircrew from fixed wing and rotorcraft operators. The main purpose of these interviews involved developing greater levels of understanding of the aircrew requirements for cockpit systems. It also highlighted key information needed by the flight crew to perform all condition operations, but moreover the system interface design considerations that influence workload and affect situational awareness.

The published findings from previous EU Framework Programme projects such as OPTIMAL CREDOS, FLYSAFE and HILAS were reviewed and key findings were pulled through into the ALICIA study scope. These extant projects undertook focused research on specific aspects of aircraft operational procedures, including flight hazards and aviation systems human factors.

Within the scope of this first work package a range of studies were performed to investigate the technology state-of-the-art across aircraft cockpit applications and related components. Examples of technologies investigated included navigation, surveillance, imaging sensors, displays, synthetic vision systems, data and image fusion, atmospheric awareness systems and ground manoeuvre systems. Furthermore, state-of-the-art tools applied to the design process were also investigated; this included the study of how simulation modelling using synthetic environments could be applied to assist system certification. These state-of-the-art investigations were intended to identify the existence of relationship dependencies between the operational requirements and technological solution domain. The output of this activity contributed towards defining the design context for the generation of the future cockpit concepts.

Further data gathering activities were performed, principally aimed at collating the existing body of information relating to aircraft cockpit system equipment installation criteria and candidate requirements for future cockpit system applications targeting all condition operations.

Following a process of detailed analysis and review, a set of consolidated requirements was created that captured the focused objectives and challenges for the three key technical themes covered by the ALICIA scope. A summary breakdown of the key areas of requirements decomposition follows:

2.1). Key Technical Theme A - All Condition Operations
• Integrated Situational Awareness / Decision Making
- Traffic conflict – detection, alerting and flight path resolution
- Atmospheric conflict – detection, alerting and flight path resolution
- Terrain & Obstacle conflict – detection and alerting
- Surface conflict - detection and alerting
• Airspace Operations
- Flight plan management
- Flight path trajectory guidance (route conformance)
- Vision augmentation (EVO)
• Aerodrome Operations
- Surface manoeuvre guidance
- Position awareness
- Vision augmentation (EVO)

2.2). Key Technical Theme B - New Cockpit Concept
• Crew Performance
- Integrated cockpit workstation; design optimisation, situational awareness, balanced workload
- Reduced crew requirements
• Cockpit Architecture Philosophy
- Display management; eyes-in & eyes-out
- Alert management
- Aircraft system management; HMI formats
• Through Life Costs
- Virtual control panels
- Scalability
- Commonality

2.3). Key Technical Theme C - Synthetic Environments
• Scope and Process Route Mapping
• Integrated system validation (verification compliance methods)

3). New Architecture Concept (WP2)
The objectives for this second technical work package involved establishing cockpit system architecture concepts for civil fixed wing and rotorcraft platforms. Solutions capable of delivering crew centric designs for operations in the future air transport system were sought. A world-wide all condition operation capability provided the essential context against which to apply system usability and performance criteria. The needs of all phases of flight operations, including ground manoeuvre, were included in the design analysis and solution synthesis process. Task scope included a rigorous appraisal of crew tasking requirements for current flight operations using in-service (circa 2009) aircraft/avionic systems. The purpose of the crew task analysis was principally to inform the activities responsible for generating the cockpit system architecture concepts by providing increased clarity relating to allocation of crew responsibilities, resource management and usage of system modes applied across the phases of flight. It follows that for the generation of the cockpit system architecture concepts, a key focus was placed on human factors and the combined effects of aircraft systems and crew to deliver the holistic system performance. An important dimension of the task involved the study of HMI and Automation philosophies underpinning the cockpit system architecture concepts.

Technology selection was achieved through transversal cooperation with other work packages responsible for the design and development of the ALICIA technology prototype solutions. A product agnostic approach was mandated for the technology selection. An iterative decision making process was followed which consisted of identification of technology candidates and subsequent appraisal of suitability. Trade studies using robust analytical methods were used to explore the benefits of competing technologies and the capability enhancements related to aircraft operations, safety and crew performance. The need to undertake risk reduction activity was included in the task scope. Risk assessment was required as it was anticipated that there would be technologies presenting significant implications for operational deployment e.g. some of the concepts could necessitate extensions to current regulations and approved operating procedures and envelopes. Refinements to concept definition discovered in this phase, including procedures for operational usage, necessitated the implementation of early prototypes and the use of simulation/synthetic environments to support test and evaluation.

The generation of guidelines to support the integration of technologies and applications within the cockpit/flight deck formed an integral component of the architecture studies. The purpose of the guidelines was to inform the upstream work packages of the impact of the architecture study findings on the subsystem and system integration activities. Following on from the definition of cockpit system architecture concepts an ambitious task was launched to establish the potential for commonality at system concept, subsystem, and technological module/component levels across fixed wing and rotorcraft platforms. The objectives of this study involved identifying the extent to which standardisation might be achieved as perceived by a cross-section of representatives from the European aerospace manufacturing industry.

At a technical level, ALICIA has provided practical evidence that commonality can be made to work. Indeed, global competitiveness is already creating a sufficiently strong pull towards commonality to spawn action within individual product families and the work completed within ALICIA will certainly re-energise these existing efforts. For a variety of different reasons, at the business level, the platform providers and their associated supply chains may need to be further convinced/incentivised if commonality is to be embraced in the full spirit of the ALICIA proposal. Obstacles to commonality inherently exist within the current aerospace market itself, not least of all because the platform providers, assisted by their suppliers, often use the cockpit as a key product discriminator. Whilst product discrimination was a known and reasonably well understood challenge, it was discovered that other influences affecting the individual business models could disrupt the pathway to delivery of the “Universal Cockpit” concept.

Higher forces may be needed to secure targeted action resulting in more extensive commonality in the future. Some of the targeted action could be achieved through the standardisation bodies but it may be necessary to incentivise the industry in some direct way in order to secure the ALICIA commonality vision.

Accordingly, some of the most significant opportunities for commonality are expected to come from new functionalities that will arrive on the flight deck either to overcome capability gaps (e.g. ACO) or to manage increasing complexity (e.g. SESAR).
Conflict Detection and Resolution (CD&R) which has been identified as a very strong candidate for a common solution, provides a good case study to consider as part of how commonality could be encouraged to happen in practice. It should be readily apparent that aircraft that are co-operating in a future more flexible airspace management system will need to be able to detect and manage conflicts in a systematic and rigorous way. Arguably the best way to ensure integrity whilst managing the cost of the development of such a system is to mandate the use of a single validated algorithm and to drive the development required to deliver a viable solution via a highly co-ordinated effort.

4). Technology Selection & Integration (WP3)
The objectives for the work package were principally focused on the design and development of technologies targeting components for integration in cockpit subsystem solutions. Supplementary studies included the investigation of design tools and methods considered complementary to the technologies; with an objective to advance the state-of-the-art within existing systems engineering processes.

A comprehensive range of technologies were addressed across the following categories:
• Navigation
• Surveillance
• Cockpit displays
• Multimodal input/output

Within each category, a multi-dimensional design and development activity was undertaken. Examples of the technological focus areas include:
• Algorithmic development; airport precision positioning, flight path trajectory, ground manoeuvre trajectory, hazard conflict management (traffic, weather, terrain), sensor data fusion, obstacle detection.
• Sensor development; imagery for low visibility environments, obstacle detection.
• Cockpit display development; low-cost HMD, wide FoV HUD, wide-area displays, display graphics generation.
• HMI symbology development; conformal symbology, system management HMI.
• Avionic system architecture infrastructure; database server management.
• Multimodal input/output; flight control active side-arm inceptors, 3D audio, touchscreens.

A significant fraction of the technologies considered were applicable to both fixed wing and rotary wing platforms. Generally, however the final technology implementation was biased towards a single platform type. This allowed functionality to be optimised for operational procedures unique to either fixed wing or rotorcraft but it also allowed individual Partner’s to concentrate their efforts in their principle business focus area.

A high level of transversal cooperation was achieved with other work packages tasked with developing and integrating the ALICIA application subsystems. This was a challenging activity requiring considerable levels of technical coordination and Partner teaming. The scope and availability of subsystem test rigs to support development testing of the technology components was limited. In the main, integration and testing was performed remotely through the exchange of technologies between Partners. Adoption of robust system engineering methods such as structured definition of functionality and data interfaces attributed to the successful achievements of the work performed. During the later stages of technology component development, the cockpit simulation demonstrator test beds came on line. These test beds provided the necessary facilities to undertake final verification testing of the technology components prior to system commissioning and structured evaluation testing.

5). Application Design & Implementation (WP4)
The objectives for the work package involved the design and development of cockpit application subsystems. These applications targeted three main areas of capability:
i). All condition operations
ii). Integrated situational awareness/decision making
iii). Airspace operations and aerodrome operations

A range of cockpit applications were designed, developed and integrated with the ALICIA technology components developed within WP3. The following application subsystem domains were selected as the focus for detailed development:
• Approach Operation Support Subsystem
• Taxi Operation Support Subsystem
• Atmospheric Awareness Support Subsystem
• Correlated Surveillance Support Subsystem
• Research FMS module

The overarching strategy applied to subsystem development did not set out to generate a singular solution, but moreover to develop a suite of configurable modules that could be customised to reflect the unique operational needs of fixed wing or rotorcraft operations. In practice, high levels of cross-platform commonality were achieved; examples include, taxi operation (HMI philosophy), atmospheric awareness (hazard detection and flight path resolution).

The applications developed within this work package were subsequently integrated into at least one of the four project system concept demonstrator test beds; supplementary test rigs were also employed for the purpose of undertaking integration risk reduction activity or highly focused part-task evaluations. Full subsystem configuration was undertaken within the WP4 activities, including integration and verification testing, prior to commissioning on the system concept demonstrator test bed/rigs.

There were a few instances where Partners elected to develop application modules targeting a similar operational context (parallel development), albeit using differing implementation approaches. The reasons for this varied, although it was typically driven by a Partner’s decision to focus on research with differing exploitation timescales (e.g. short-term vs stretched operational capabilities). In some cases overlapping capability simply reflected the starting point which sometimes followed a logical progression from an existing development/prototype solution. These alternative approaches were supported because they presented the possibility of performing comparative evaluation of varying capability and/or performance. Furthermore, it was recognised that in research, innovation can take multiple forms. The mixture of approach, including the evaluations performed, proved to be highly beneficial and also provided useful references for constructing technology exploitation road maps.

Elaboration of the scope of the key cockpit applications developed, including examples of the module prototypes, is described below:

5.1). Approach Operation Support Subsystem: the objectives for this cockpit application domain involved the development of modules targeting applications for approach and landing operations in adverse weather conditions. Advancing capability for “All Condition Operations” was considered one of the highest priorities for the ALICIA project. The potential benefits of being able to continue to operate aircraft in conditions that currently cause diversion to another airport/landing site are particularly attractive to aircraft operators. Development activity focused on establishing solutions delivering:
• An equivalent visual operations (EVO) capability in degraded visual conditions through the provision of enhanced and synthetic imagery of terrain and detection of obstacles along the flight trajectory.
• Generation and display of flight guidance cues.

Examples of the modules implemented include:
• Head Up Display (HUD) and Head Mounted Display (HMD):
- HMI conformal symbology concepts (3D graphical visualisation) providing flight navigation guidance, landing cueing and synthetic terrain.
- Wide field of view (FoV) HUD
- Light-weight HMD
• Multi-sensor data fusion (MSDF):
- Algorithmic processing of electro-optic and radar sensor signals to detect runway/landing site and ground obstacles for operations in degraded visual conditions.
• Synthetic vision system (SVS):
- Database derived 3D graphical visualisation of terrain
- Flight navigation guidance symbology overlay
• Sensor imagery simulation modelling (F3S)
- Electro-optic imaging sensor
- Infrared imaging sensor
- Millimetric wave radar sensor
• Radar sensor obstacle detection simulation modelling and fusion with SVS
• APV module
- Satellite navigation (GNSS) augmented guidance (lateral and vertical) for the final approach segment.
- Providing improved operations at airports/landing sites with limited ground based approach aids.
• Low cost GNSS augmented solution for Cat 3A landing capability.
• Precision navigation sensor simulation modelling:
- Area navigation (RNAV)
- Localiser Performance with vertical guidance (LPV)
- Cat IIIb landing (GAST-D)
• Approach path planning:
- HMI for augmented satellite navigation (GBAS) curved approaches

A high level of integration existed between the MSDF, SVS, F3S, Precision Navigation and HUD modules.

5.2). Taxi Operation Support Subsystem: the objectives for this application domain involved the development of modules targeting applications supporting the flight crew during taxi operations, especially in low visibility conditions. Poor weather conditions present real safety issues during the taxi phase. Significant benefits are expected from solutions that allow safe operation whilst preserving aircraft throughput.

Development activity focused on establishing solutions delivering:
• Taxi route planning
• Generation and display of taxi route guidance cues
• Improved situational awareness

Examples of the modules implemented include:
• Gate-to-Gate charting:
- Taxi route planning
- Strategic hazard awareness & notification
• Taxi guidance:
- Autonomous (hover) taxi guidance system for rotorcraft
- Autonomous taxi route calculation and guidance
- Aerodrome moving map (2D, 3D graphical visualisation)
• Synthetic vision system (SVS)
• Precision positioning (odometer)
• Surveillance:
- Obstacle detection system (ADS-B)
- HMI for rotorcraft anti-collision system
- Enhanced vision system for taxi guidance
- Imaging sensors optimised for low visibility conditions

5.3). Atmospheric Awareness Support Subsystem: the objectives for this application domain involved the development of modules targeting applications providing the flight crew with information relating to atmospheric hazards and the associated avoidance route planning. A combination of forecast and nowcast methods formed the basis of the system. Fusion of data transmitted over ground-to-airborne datalink with onboard sensor and aircraft data allowed high fidelity calculation of the weather conditions along the flight path trajectory. The benefits of the system include the ability to provide the flight crew with functionality to resolve potentially hazardous conditions (through collaboration with ATC) in the strategic timeframe. This in turn assists the crew with the management of flight and destination arrival timings.

Development activity was focused on establishing solutions delivering:
• Hazardous weather awareness
• Weather information management

Examples of the modules implemented include:
• Pre-processing of weather information for uplinking:
- Icing conditions (ICE)
- Clear air turbulence (CAT)
- Nowcast thunderstorm tracking and monitoring (CB)
- Weather data fusion
- Volcanic ash (VA)
- Low visibility conditions (VIS)
• Wake vortex awareness:
- Algorithmic calculation of effects from other aircraft in close proximity
- Application HMI symbology
• On-board weather radar (WxR)
• Weather conflict detection and resolution (CD&R):
- Algorithmic calculation of potential effects caused by forecast atmospheric hazards on flight path trajectory
- Application HMI symbology

5.4). Correlated Surveillance Support Subsystem: the objectives for this application domain involved the development of modules targeting applications for low altitude rotorcraft operations. Rotorcraft operations are predominantly performed under visual flight rules (VFR). The presence of multiple hazardous conditions such as terrain, obstacles, traffic and weather require continuous monitoring which when coupled with the demands of flight operations under VFR, are significant factors contributing to high levels of crew workload.

The development activity focused on establishing solutions delivering:
• Improved situational awareness
• Detection of potential hazards
• An HMI providing a correlated picture of the hazard sources and conditions

Examples of modules implemented include:
• Helicopter terrain awareness system (HTAWS)
• Traffic awareness (ADS-B)
• Digital Map (DMap) – with HTAWS, terrain elevation, traffic and weather awareness overlays
• Synthetic vision system (SVS)

5.5). Research FMS module: the objectives for this application domain involved the development of modules targeting applications for the optimisation of flight trajectory management. A conflict detection and resolution module was developed for conditions where airborne hazards exist. An additional module was developed to provide a capability to compute IFR approach procedures.

The development activity focused on establishing solutions delivering:
• Conflict detection and resolution caused by the encroachment of airborne traffic within safe separation distance criteria.
• Conflict detection and resolution caused by the presence of potentially hazardous weather conditions intersecting the flight path trajectory.
• Dynamically calculated IFR approach procedures to landing sites with less capable (or no ground-based) landing aids, including remote sites.

Examples of modules implemented include:
• Conflict Detection and Resolution Function (CD&R)
• Flexible Approach Module (FLEXAP)

6). System Concept & Technology Demonstrators - Evaluation Testing (WP5)
Over 100 concepts and technologies were developed by the ALICIA Partners, covering the research scope of all condition operations and cockpit design. In line with the EU Framework 7 programme strategy, ALICIA sought to address the topic of technology integration. The objective for this work package involved the construction of system demonstrator test beds to enable the ALICIA technology prototypes to be integrated within representative environments for the purpose of performing structured evaluation. This was an ambitious and complex undertaking. A combination of simulation-based and ground-based test facilities were used for the implementation of the demonstrators. Two primary test facilities were selected to provide the necessary environment to host a fully integrated cockpit system implementation of a fixed wing platform and a rotorcraft platform. Both platform types made use of fixed base simulators to deliver the requisite synthetic environment infrastructure. Additional test facilities provided the means to undertake application specific testing, including live trials of sensor technology solutions. In summary the following test facilities were used:
• Key test beds:
- Rotorcraft full system integrated cockpit
- Fixed wing full system integrated cockpit
- Taxi operation precise postioning
- Taxi improved vision
• Supplementary test rigs:
- Research FMS
- Anti-collision & weather awareness (rotorcraft)
- Autonomous taxi operation (fixed wing)
- Autonomous taxi operation (rotorcraft)
- 4D trajectory management
- Virtual reality cockpit
- Environmental lighting conditions environment

A short description of the test facilities follows along with an overview of the evaluation testing performed and a summary of the key findings follows:

6.1). Rotorcraft full system integrated cockpit test bed:
The ALICIA rotorcraft full system integrated cockpit test bed was constructed around an existing fixed-based cockpit simulator test facility which provides a full product life-cycle capability, supporting research and product development through to customer aircrew training. It is the product of over two decades of continuous investment and development. The aircraft flight model implements accurate behaviour of the closed loop control system including autopilot, engines and aerodynamic characteristics. A high fidelity visualisation system projects an outside world view onto a large curved screen giving 210x50 degree field of view. Multiple visibility and environmental conditions can be simulated. The combined qualities of the aircraft modelling and visualisation system deliver a fully immersive synthetic environment enabling representative testing of operational scenarios to be undertaken by aircrew. For the ALICIA rotorcraft cockpit demonstrator, the ergonomics of the cockpit geometry (e.g. instrument panels, seating) were accurately modelled on an existing AgustaWestland civil medium-heavy rotorcraft.

A comprehensive range of Partner developed technology prototypes were integrated in the cockpit simulator, Approximately 30 technology concepts from 18 Partners were implemented:
• Eyes out display surfaces; HUD, HMD
• Eyes out symbology:
- primary flight information
- conformal flight guidance (transit, approach, landing, take-off)
- conformal taxi guidance
- conformal (synthetic) terrain
- surface obstacles detected on landing site
- enhanced vision (sensor) imagery
• Primary flight synthetic vision system fused with obstacle detection sensor
• Active and passive sensor simulation (imagery, RF)
• Multi-sensor data fusion (MSDF); feature extraction of landing site and surface obstacles
• Correlated surveillance application consisting of a digital map integrated with:
- HTAWS
- traffic awareness
- weather information
• Airport moving map (AMM)
• Navigation sensor simulation
• Unified database management server
• Active side-stick control inceptors
• Active pilot seat (motion cueing)
• Cockpit display architecture and HMI formats:
- All touchscreen capable displays
- Synoptic formats for management of aircraft systems
- Electronic checklist formats
- Navigation formats
- Widescreen displays
- High resolution graphics generator for avionics applications
• Alert management system

A detailed test programme was constructed to support evaluation of the technology concept features. Representative operational scenarios were selected to stress the effectiveness of the systems in providing the crew with the necessary information to control the aircraft and manage systems in all condition environments. This included varying weather/visibility conditions and terrain profiles. The scenarios were built around two European regional areas, Northern Spain (San Sebastian) and the Auvergne region of France (Clermont-Ferrand). Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Search and Rescue (SAR), transport and off-shore operations were constructed around five core scenarios:
i). Approach, landing and take-off at San Sebastian airport.
ii). Approach, landing and take-off at an unprepared site in a mountainous area north of San Sebastian.
iii). Transit flight within the San Sebastian region.
iv). Approach and landing to a hospital (roof-top helipad).
v). Approach and landing to an off-shore oil-rig.
vi). Approach and landing at Clermont-Ferrand airport.
vii). Taxi operation at Clermont-Ferrand airport.

For each of the scenarios, varying visibility and weather conditions were applied. Visibility conditions covered the spectrum from good, marginal, degraded to zero. Varying wind conditions were implemented as one of the measures to influence pilot workload during the final approach and landing procedure.

The basis for the testing strategy consisted of three evaluation trials, each lasting up to five days in duration. Five professional pilots participated as subject matter experts (SME), accumulating in excess of 150 hours of simulation testing, including training of the flight model handling qualities. The evaluation trials were performed over a five month period. Construction of the test objectives were derived from the ALICIA consolidated requirements around the project themes - All Condition Operations, New Cockpit Concept and Synthetic Environments. This was a complex and time consuming activity; all partner stakeholders involved in the evaluation trials programme contributed to the process.

The structure of the trials consisted of four phases:
• Two phases dedicated to the testing of technologies delivering equivalent visual operations (EVO).
• Single phase dedicated to experimentation of synthetic environments within the context of certification testing.
• Single phase dedicated to the testing of the technologies targeting holistic cockpit design & cross-platform type commonality/standardisation, improved situational awareness and aircraft system HMI.

A legacy cockpit system configuration was used to establish a baseline comparator against which the benefits of the ALICIA concepts and technologies were subsequently assessed. The principle focus for baseline testing was on the measurement of system performance to deliver the level of information necessary for the pilot to control the aircraft in varying visibility conditions during the approach and landing phase.

Certain aspects of the concept and technology evaluation test scope were delegated to part-task evaluation on a standalone rig. This acknowledged the need for specialist rig facilities, requiring highly representative FMS functionality to exercise specific features of the ALICIA concept technologies. The scope of testing was aligned and complementary with the evaluation trials performed on the rotorcraft full system integrated cockpit simulator test bed.

A pilot centric approach was taken to the testing methodology applied, underpinned by the use of structured data gathering and analysis techniques to determine levels of system concept and design effectiveness. Both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection were employed, including, workload rating scales (e.g. Bedford & NASA-TLX), situational awareness scales (e.g. SART) and physiological measurement (e.g. ECG, EEG) which were then equated with cognitive stress, de-briefs and 3rd party observations.

Test results demonstrated the potential for HUDs and HMDs to deliver crew workload reduction and maintenance of flight awareness under all flight phases, especially during the approach and landing phase. In summary, the output from the tests provided an impressive body of evidence relating to the maintenance of safe flight during approach and landing conditions under highly degraded visual conditions, including near zero visibility where the crew were almost totally reliant on flight instrument symbology. This level of performance provides compelling evidence that the symbology developed is capable of providing the HMI dimension to a low visibility system targeting a reduction in minimum decision heights and an expansion of current operating envelopes into both prepared and unprepared landing sites. Physiological measurements were seen to track the outside world visual conditions providing an indication of the simulation fidelity and corroboration of pilot ratings for workload.

SMEs considered the holistic cockpit capability to be highly effective and provided encouraging projections that the cockpit solution would integrate well into their view of future ATM systems. These extrapolations should not be considered as endorsements but they do provide industry with a considerable degree of encouragement of the viability of the tested solutions.

In the context of all conditions operations, testing has provided good evidence of pilot resilience to failure modes and misleading data, and in doing so has provided evidence of the suitability of high fidelity rotorcraft cockpit synthetic environments to support future certification activities.

The issues of expandable cockpit design and cross-platform commonality/standardisation (i.e. fixed wing and rotorcraft) proved more elusive. Whilst a demonstration of a “common design” was not practical within the evaluation activities, many opportunities for commonality were identified. A “Commonality Workshop” was conducted post completion of the test programme involving independent representatives from fixed wing and rotorcraft pilot communities. This workshop resulted in a consensus of opinion regarding where commonality might be realistically sought, both philosophically and practically.

In conclusion, the rotorcraft evaluation programme was highly successful and provided genuine benefits to all stakeholders that were involved. It has contributed to the body of knowledge needed to move innovation of rotorcraft cockpit systems forward, but moreover advanced the potential for extending the use of simulation to assist the system certification process.

6.2). Fixed wing full system integrated cockpit test bed:
The ALICIA fixed wing full system integrated cockpit test bed was constructed around the latest evolution (called Avionics 2020) of the simulator test facility supporting Thales avionics cockpit research activity at Bordeaux, France.
The simulator consisted of four basic elements:
• A Fixed Wing cockpit reproduction consisting of 8 touch screen displays,
• An optical system providing a collimated outside view to the cockpit, allowing the use of real HUD equipment,
• A control panel workstation for the evaluations manager to talk with the crew and monitor the situation on various displays,
• A PC rack hosting the simulation platform.

The following partner developed technology prototypes were integrated in the cockpit simulator:
• Eyes out display surfaces; HUD (dual),
• Eyes out symbology:
- Primary flight information
- Approach procedure with vertical guidance (APV)
- Synthetic Vision System (SVS)
- Sensor detected runway edge and detected surface obstacles
- Enhanced vision (sensor) imagery
• Active and passive sensor simulation (imagery, RF)
• Multi-sensor data fusion (MSDF); feature extraction of runway and surface obstacles
• Synthetic Vision System with Highways In the Sky
• Uplinked weather products
• Weather radar simulation
• Weather conflict detection and resolution application (CD&R)
• Wake vortex awareness application
• Strategic Navigation Display
• Vertical Display
• Datalink interface and interpretation
• Airport navigation function (including moving map, taxi clearance by datalink, ..)
• Gate-to-gate application with airport functionalities
• Navigation sensor simulation
• Unified database management server
• 3D audio
• Cockpit display architecture and HMI formats:
- All touchscreen capable displays, including some THMDU (Touch and Haptic Multifunction Display Unit) allowing Display configuration, Touch Pad capability, Radio Management Panel)
- Synoptic formats for management of aircraft systems
- Electronic checklist formats
- Navigation formats
- Widescreen displays
- High resolution graphics generator
• Alert management system

A detailed test programme was constructed to support evaluation of the technology concept features. Representative operational scenarios were selected to investigate operational benefit and limitation of the ALICIA technologies and applications. Emphasis was placed on the study of human performance and interaction with the fixed wing ALICIA HMI and hardware.

The structure of the trials consisted of 6 blocks:
• Introductory phase – familiarisation training of the concepts and flight model.
• Evaluation blocks including their own specific feedback/debriefing activities.
- General cockpit concept
- Technologies related to the Taxi phase
- Technologies related to the En Route phase
- Technologies related to the Approach phase
• A final debriefing block

Nine scenarios were constructed around continental European operations to support the evaluation. Varying visibility and weather conditions were applied to the scenarios. Visibility conditions covered the spectrum from good to degraded.

The basis for the testing strategy consisted of dual pilot crews participating in a two days evaluation trial, each addressing all the ALICIA aspects. Fourteen (14) professional pilots participated as subject matter experts (SME), accumulating more than 200 hours of pilot-in-the-loop testing, including training in the simulator. Testing was performed over a four month period.

The main impact identified for all evaluated applications was the improvement on crew’s situation awareness in low visibility conditions. The main benefits of each application are:
• Gate to Gate
- Reduced risk of taxiway error (i.e wrong taxiway entry and taxiway overshooting), runway incursion, and mistaken take off from taxiway instead of the runway
- Increased crew’s ability to devise a taxi route autonomously
- Increased comfort when taxiing in complex and unfamiliar airports
• Weather Awareness System
- Earlier detection of weather threats (up to 1h earlier than today): weather management shifts from tactical to strategic level
- Increased efficiency: crew can plan for the best cost-effective diversion if needed, reducing the risk of performing large unnecessary detour or small ineffective diversions
• Terrain synthetic vision
- Increased saliency of critical terrain visual cues: useful for operations close to hazardous high terrains
- Increased safety of approach and missed approach operations, and of emergency situations over high terrains, especially during night-time and low visibility conditions.
• PFD symbology
- Possibility to check ground speed without having to look at the head down display.
• Infrared Vision
- Effective location of runway and approach lights under low visibility conditions
- Possibility to enable descent below the current published decision heights, even if direct visual contact with the runway has not been established yet.
• Approach Procedure – Vertical guidance
- Possibility to monitor offset from the intended approach path the same way as standard ILS symbology does
- Possibility to fly to airports without ILS (very useful for aircraft such as business jets)
• Wake Vortex Awareness
- Enhanced safety: possibility to monitor hazardous wakes generated by preceding aircraft, during take-off and landing
- Reduced risk of uncomfortable turbulences or loss of control due to wake vortex encounter
• Airport and terrain synthetic vision
- Increased safety for operations close to terrains such as in mountainous areas
- Pilots provided with a larger field of view than head up SVS

The issues of expandable cockpit design and cross-platform commonality/standardisation (i.e. fixed wing and rotorcraft) have been addressed through discussions and exchanges with the other WPs during the whole course of the project, including a final “commonality workshop” held after the fixed-wing and rotorcraft experimentations.

In conclusion, the fixed wing evaluation programme was highly successful and shown the usefulness and suitability of the ALICIA concepts, especially concerning situation awareness, safety improvements and reduction of pilot workload.

6.3). Taxi operation precise positioning test bed:
This part-task evaluation is the last step of the work conducted on precise navigation capability for future aircrafts, using INS/GNSS/odometer hybridization algorithms. This work started as a theoretical study then was continued by laboratory integration and finally, evaluations have been performed in a van test bed.

The objective was to evaluate the improvement of the real-time localization (both accuracy and integrity) on ground. Functional equipment operating in real-time environment where used and tests were performed in an airport-like environment (flat area populated with medium-sized building) representative in term of signal multipath and masking threat.

The test bed consisted of:
• ADIRU inertial unit (Air Data Inertial Reference Unit) – enhanced real aircraft equipment
• GNSS receiver – a standard aircraft equipment
• Odometer (mounted on the wheel of the vehicle)
• Integration platform installed in a van

Test results demonstrated:
• Significant improvement of the accuracy by combining GNSS, INS and odometer in a single output position, especially during GNSS outages or in presence of signal multipath
• Integrity capability with the use of a dual chain GNSS/INS and odometer/INS.

6.4). Taxi improved vision test bed:
The objective for this part-task evaluation involved the focused study of situational awareness during taxi operations in degraded visual conditions and the benefits to safety and operational effectiveness when using an improved vision system. Testing was carried out using functional equipment operating in a representative real-time environment. A commercial transport van provided the host vehicle for the Taxi improved vision test bed. The test hardware consisted of:
• Large field of view 2D visible light spectrum sensor,
• Large field of view 2D IR spectrum sensor,
• Small field of view 3D LADAR sensor,
• Synthetic vision system optimised for taxi operation.

Integration of the technologies resulted in a combined vision system (CVS). A comprehensive programme of experimentation was constructed to undertake evaluations during day and night conditions under variable weather conditions such as rain, fog and snow. Preliminary experiments were performed on the individual sensor components using small-scale test benches such as climatic chambers. For the integrated solution the experiments were carried out at Toulouse-Blagnac and Malta airports during day and night conditions. Scenarios were constructed around transit operations from parking bay to runway departure and vice versa.

Test results for the experiments performed by night (including low visibility) and dawn (low solar light) demonstrated the ability to detect obstacles, panels and the markings on the ground. Furthermore, delimitations of the taxiway as well as airport lighting were visible. This level of performance provides compelling evidence that safer operations are possible when using a combined vision system in low visibility conditions. It would be especially beneficial for operations at uncontrolled aerodromes. Adoption of these technologies would assist in the reduction of runway incursions resulting from pilot disorientation in low visibility conditions. Greater levels of autonomous aircraft operations could be possible because the crew can detect obstacles and avoid weather related disturbances. In the context of airport throughout, it was demonstrated that a combined vision system could make a significant contribution to capacity performance.

6.5). Rotorcraft (part-task) test rig:
This part of the testing programme required high fidelity models of a rotorcraft FMS and an obstacle detection system integrated with an outside world visual system. Two applications, a weather awareness system (WAS) and an anti-collision system were integrated in to a high-fidelity fixed based rotorcraft simulation environment. Both applications were evaluated by experienced pilots.

6.6). Research FMS test rig:
One of the key objectives for future air transport systems is the introduction of improved methods of detecting and resolving traffic related hazards. Solutions available today such as TCAS are primarily designed to cope with conflicts occurring in the short-term/tactical timeframe. The policy decision has been made in Europe and North America to mandate the progressive introduction of ADS-B technology in-line with the implementation of the SESAR and NextGen ATM modernisation programmes. With the introduction of ADS-B it will be possible for ATC to monitor aircraft beyond line of sight and range of ground based radar systems. Further benefits can be achieved through the processing of ADS-B returns to provide aircraft crew with a situational picture of air traffic in the surrounding airspace proximity. This presents a significant means by which aircraft can maintain safety separation distances with other aircraft. Within ALICIA a prototype application was developed implementing a Conflict Detection and Resolution (CD&R) function to detect potential conflicts and propose alternate navigation solutions to resolve the conflict. Acceptance or rejection of the navigation solutions involves a collaborative decision making process between the crew and ATC. The application was designed for fixed wing operations, although the principle could be equally applied to rotorcraft. For the purposes of undertaking structured evaluation trails, the application was integrated into the APERO fixed based simulator, provided by NLR.

A detailed programme of evaluation testing was constructed to explore the acceptability and usage of the CD&R concept and its HMI. The evaluation was intentionally designed to include human-in-the-loop.

Analysis of the test results indicated increased levels of safety could be achieved through the adoption of functions that provide crew with awareness of hazards and potential conflicts in the strategic timeframe. The underlying algorithms of the CD&R are inherently complex and require sophisticated integration with a research FMS and navigation display HMI. This was a significant undertaking by NLR. Useful knowledge has been acquired from this study in the form of lessons learnt which will enable future refinement of the concept.

Separate to the CD&R activities, a set of experiments were performed on the NLR rotorcraft simulator to evaluate a flexible approach module (FLEXAP) designed to allow aircraft to approach airports with less capable ground-based approach aids or remote sites with no approach aids.

The FLEXAP module interacted directly with a research FMS (RFMS) to provide a capability to allow the quick selection of a point on the ground (e.g. runway threshold, waypoint, gate, arbitrary point) to which an instrument approach procedure is calculated and presented. The system was designed to support two approach procedures; the so-called PinS (“Point-in-Space”) procedure and the APV (“Approach Procedure with Vertical guidance”’) procedure. Two (2) professional rotorcraft pilots (IFR rated) participated in a limited-scope evaluation. Successful trials were performed and the FLEXAP concept proved to provide a highly flexible means of producing IFR approach to any unsurveyed off-airport site quickly and safely. It was judged to have particular utility for police operations which are typically unpredictable and require landing at unprepared sites.

6.7). Approach and taxi operations (fixed wing) test rig:
Focused task testing was performed on two technology prototypes targeting the runway approach phase and taxi operations. These prototypes were in the form of software applications. For the runway approach application, novel HMI methods were employed for the purpose of assisting crew with selecting and navigating GBAS based curved approach profiles to the terminal area. An application that automated the generation of aerodrome taxi routes was developed, with a specific emphasis on an HMI delivering improved situational awareness, increased safety and workload reduction during low visibility conditions.

These application prototypes were integrated into a fixed based simulator configured as an Airbus A320 cockpit. The main instrument panel (captain’s workstation) was modified to host a wide-touchscreen display for display and interaction with the applications. The simulation facility was provided by the Technische Universität Braunschweig. A structured programme of part-task trials evaluation was performed, supported by the participation of five (5) professional pilots.

6.8). Autonomous taxi operation (rotorcraft) test rig:
A concept prototype was implemented to demonstrate an automated taxi control guidance system for a rotorcraft. The system employed active side-stick control inceptors to provide tactile cueing to the pilot relating to maintaining the taxi route. Using an ATC approved taxi route, the system generated waypoints using an airport database containing geodetic coordinates of the taxiways. The waypoint based taxi plan provided the input for the flight control system which subsequently computed control inputs to the side sticks to manage aircraft trajectory (speed, height and acceleration). Crew monitoring of the taxi route was implemented through an HMI displayed on the main instrument panel presented as a digital airport map overlaid with the taxi route.

The concept prototype was integrated into a fixed based simulator configured as a modified EC135 helicopter featuring fly-by-wire/fly-by-light controls and an experimental main instrument panel. The simulation facility was provided by DLR.
Results from the structured testing performed have contributed towards the progressive validation of the concept. Constructive feedback was received relating to the system performance. The use of the moving map provided strong levels of situational awareness especially for pilots operating at unfamiliar aerodromes. Experimentation of the taxi guidance control algorithms demonstrated the potential utility of an automated guidance system and that further optimisation of the algorithms would be beneficial in particular during turning procedures.

6.9). 4D trajectory management test rig:
A detailed study of navigation algorithms to implement a 4D flight path management capability (latitude, longitude, altitude, time) was undertaken within ALICIA. The focus of the implementation was for fixed wing platforms. 4D navigation is a key component for the future European ATM which will increase the performance of the air transport system.

This was a complex study requiring specialist test facilities to host the algorithms and support evaluation of the system including the navigation display HMI. The algorithms were embedded in a prototype FMS and subsequently integrated into a fixed-based simulator provided by the Central Aerohydrodynamic Institute (TsAGI), based in Russia. An important focus for this work was on the planning of 4D Reference Business Trajectories (RBT) and the ability of the navigation display HMI to deliver effective management of the flight path within acceptable levels of crew workload.

6.10). Virtual reality cockpit test rig:
ALICIA was fortunate to have the involvement of a Partner with access to a virtual reality simulation facility in which instances of advanced technological concepts could be implemented and subjected to experimentation. This presented ALICIA with an opportunity to explore concepts with lower levels of technology readiness but offering potentially greater levels of operational and safety benefits for longer term exploitation.

The virtual reality simulator was provided by Airbus Group Innovations (formerly EADS Innovation Works). Examples of the advanced studies undertaken included:
• The layout of cockpit control panels and HMI interfaces.
• Novel eyes out (HUD) symbology representations.

A structured programme of testing was constructed to support evaluation of the concept features. A highly scientific approach was taken to the measurement and analysis of data captured. Emphasis was placed on the assessment of crew workload; stress and strain. Eleven (11) commercial airline pilots participated in eleven (11) simulator sessions and 44 missions. Statistical representative data was able to be computed using this sample size. The results provided detailed proof of crew stress and strain correlated with situational awareness and flight guidance performance.

6.11). Environmental lighting conditions environment test rig:
A quick search of the internet will identify many articles about the benefits of employing touchscreen technologies as an intuitive solution for providing human interaction with display systems. Very little evidence is currently available that underpins the science behind the practicalities and performance of its embodiment in cockpit environments. This is evident in the lack of published guidance material endorsed by airworthiness authorities and aerospace standardisation bodies.

ALICIA sought to actively undertake scientific experimentation relating to the usability of touchscreens in the context of applications targeting aviation systems in order to inform the ALICIA cockpit design activities. Activities were performed early in the project to explore the use of touchscreens within a vibratory environment to establish measures of performance for touch area sensitivity and ballistic accuracy. The use of HMI formats and haptics were also tested to explore multi-modal methods of providing essential operator feedback.

During the latter phase of the project an initiative was launched to take a selection of mature HMI formats and subject them to testing in lighting conditions typical of an airborne cockpit environment. ALICIA was fortunate to have the involvement of a Partner with access to a full scale lighting simulator to undertake these experiments. The Sky Light Simulator was provided by Alenia Aermacchi. It is a facility capable of hosting the cockpit of a complete aircraft and reproducing ambient lighting levels. A prototype touchscreen display with HMI formats generated within ALICIA was temporary located in the cockpit of an C-27J transport aircraft. Tests were performed under low and high ambient lighting environments for both forward and lateral directions. In general, the results demonstrated acceptable performance for the use of touchscreens in cockpit environments. The touchscreen capability was positively received by the assessors. Test results indicated that the symbology design (formats, colour,size and layout) was not effected by environmental lighting conditions.


Potential Impact:
7). Opportunities for Technology Exploitation
Regarding the exploitation opportunities for the ALICIA technological concepts this will be achieved at a number of levels:
• At the platform level, including integrated concepts and systems, such as cockpit HMI design features and systems for supporting landing in severely degraded environments.
• At the system/sub-system level, through the development of specific cockpit systems and equipment.
• At the application software level, through the development of software modules for incorporation in equipment and sub-systems.
• At the algorithm or method/process level. Science-base organisations have played a major role in the ALICIA programme and have developed algorithms, methods and processes.

7.1). Type of Innovation:
The technology exploitation candidates fall into 3 high level categories:
• Those associated with display of information (both head down and eyes out).
• Those associated with the means of flight deck system management and control (excluding flight control).
• Avionic system architecture and infrastructure.

7.2). Exploitation Domains:
The ALICIA Partners undertook an appraisal of the perceived opportunities for business exploitation and how these related to the key project objectives:
• Improvements that will advance ACO capability for the ground and air segment of operations; of the total candidate opportunities identified by Partners, 44% were aligned with this category.
• Improvements in flight deck design and operation (including commonality between aircraft types); of the total candidate opportunities identified by Partners, 31% were aligned with this category.
• Improvements that will help future aircraft operate in the future ATM environment, which can have some overlap with the ACO improvements; of the total candidate opportunities identified by Partners, 11% were aligned with this category.
• Improvements in design/development/test/certification methods and processes. of the total candidate opportunities identified by Partners, 14% were aligned with this category.

The largest number of exploitation opportunities were attributed to the ACO domain.

The relatively large proportion of the exploitation candidates aimed at more general flight deck efficiency and workload improvements is illustrative of the technology developments that are becoming available with regard to display of information on the flight deck and more intuitive control and management of flight deck systems.

The smaller number of ATM-related exploitation candidates probably reflects the current level of maturity and definition of the future ATM environment. The work aimed at integration of rotorcraft into the SESAR ATM work, for example, is only just beginning and so it was not possible to evaluate specific rotorcraft flight deck features for SESAR compatibility in much of the ALICIA rotorcraft activities.

The methods and processes exploitation candidates reflect the inclusion of technology specialists, experts, research bodies and academic establishments in the ALICIA consortium. The diverse nature of the activities in the programme provided ample opportunity for improvements in simulation technologies and data collection and analysis techniques.

Although not specifically covered or discussed in this report, it should be remembered that the academic partners who participated in ALICIA can also exploit the knowledge and experience gained during the programme as an input to the training of students and as the basis for future academic research.

There is also the possibility that some members of the ALICIA Consortium can exploit the outcomes in other industrial sectors, such as the space, automotive or marine sectors, as some of the participants have interests beyond air transport.

7.3). Exploitation timescales:
A number of potential near term (0-5 years) exploitation opportunities were identified by Partners. Those in the short term (0-3 years) are mainly for rotary wing applications. It is possible that there is greater market pressure for improvement – the major part of the total is related to ACO improvements, where rotary wing operations are currently very limited.

The exploitation candidates that are targeted for the 3-5 year period would bring some major improvements. In fixed wing applications these would include use of touch and larger displays on the flight deck. For rotary wing aircraft, there would also be further steps forward in ACO capability, including the use of 3D Conformal Symbology which proved highly successful in the rotorcraft full system integrated cockpit test bed trials.

The largest proportion of candidates are expected to be exploited in 5 – 10 years. This is not an unreasonable time period to allow for an innovation to reach a product application in the commercial aerospace sector. From the point of development reached in the ALICIA programme (typically around TRL5 or 6 for innovations demonstrated in the test beds), it will be necessary to:
• Carry out further evaluation and demonstration activities, possibly including flight evaluation, in order to increase the maturity further.
• Tailor the innovation to match the target platform application.

In addition, there will be a need to provide a framework for the eventual certification of the innovation, which may require the establishment of standards or certification regulations, which can be a lengthy process.

In summary, it can be expected that full exploitation of the concepts demonstrated in ALICIA will occur in the 5-10 year timeframe.
List of Websites:
The official project website: www.alicia-project.eu