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Landing Software for small-medium Aircraft on small-medium Airfields

Final Report Summary - LANDING (Landing Software for small-medium Aircraft on small-medium Airfields)

The LANDING project's aim was to develop and deliver a low-cost software and hardware product assisting pilots of a small-medium aircraft to safely land on small-medium and poorly equipped fields under bad-weather and low-visibility conditions. The system was targeted to be delivered as a pre-industrial product and as an add-on for safety that can be installed on portable or embedded aircraft h/w navigation technologies. The pilot can use LANDING for additional guidance during all three phases of the landing process:
(1) the 'approaching' phase in the far field or wide area of the landing field
(2) the 'tunnelling' phase
(3) the 'runway' phase.

The project was accomplished via seven work packages (WPs):
WP1 - Project management,
WP2 - Product needs,
WP3 - The software (SW) package
WP4 - SW and hardware (HW) integration
WP5 - Testing and verification,
WP6 - Applications and validation
WP7 - Dissemination, promotion, closure.

LANDING integrates seven s/w and data components:
(1) the geo-referenced position module of the aircraft operational with satellite and other data;
(2) the stage-1 SW, operational with input from digital information of the ambient space; available through commercial of-the-shelf (COTS) 3D digital maps, satellite data and elevation data
(3) the stage-2 SW, operational with medium resolution input of the larger field vicinity
(4) the stage-3 SW, operational with high resolution 3D geodata including all obstacles as input of the closer field vicinity
(5) SW modules for the integration of the above components, that provide and link the aircraft with the digitally represented space
(6) 3D-visualisation SW linking the integrated flight guidance information to the HW and
(7) other SW integration and 3D-database components.

The SW consists of several modules and data components, with a powerful rendering for high-fidelity real-time data visualisation of 2D / 3D. The man-machine interface is realised by a graphical user interface (GUI). The tunnelling and predictor modules offer guidance in an easily understandable way. Software and hardware for positioning and attitude determination are based on EGNOS / Galileo technology. The airport and vicinity database consists of 2D-approach data and 3D-geodata, whilst 3D-data is produced via LIDAR and laser-scanning technology. A database in a standardised aerospace data format is produced for the predefined flight-test areas. The airport-and-vicinity database provides details linked to the software functionality, airport and airfield architecture. The integration is based on MS Windows operating system. The fully integrated SW is tested via a research flight simulator, and is integrated into industry hardware. LANDING components run on COTS on-board HW:
(1) portable or panel mounted computing equipment (e.g. pen-PC) delivering fast rendering; and
(2) display for 3D-visualisation.
The SW is platform-independent. The 3D terrain and other airport-, or field-, or terrain-data, is pre-installed on the HW.

LANDING is cost-affordable and targeted to small or business aircrafts, hydroplanes and helicopters, and delivers SW technology, applications, dissemination, and material for future certification. The cost of a ready to use product (HW, SW, and data) is in the range of 15 - 20 000 euro/unit/aircraft (release of 2009). Additional information about the project and the product can be found at the project's website, at: http://www.landing-eu.eu.

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