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Advanced Safe Separation Technologies and Algorithms

Periodic Report Summary - ASSTAR (Advanced safe separation technologies and algorithms)

The ASSTAR project aimed to bring together a powerful team of European Air traffic management (ATM) researchers and especially airline and air navigation service providers in order for air transport to improve performance due to major capacity, efficiency and environmental changes that it was experiencing. ASSTAR pursued a research with the aim of providing significant benefits in terms of operational and environmental improvements in the short-term. The two specific areas under research were:
- the delegation of a conflict resolution manoeuvres to the air, in radar controlled airspace, such as for example Airborne separation assistance system (ASAS) cross and passing, in order to reduce controller workload and improve flight efficiency;
- the use of Automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) to support new operations in oceanic and other non-radar airspace, enabling more optimal routing, including enhanced use of wind corridors and passing and level changing, that were severely restricted up to that point of time due to the procedural separation standards

The outcome of the ASSTAR project was a number of well-defined ASAS applications, namely: Airborne separation crossing and passing (ASEP-C&P), Airborne separation in-trail procedure (ASEP-ITP), Airborne separation in-trail-follow (ASEP-ITF), Airborne separation in-trail merge (ASEP-ITM), Airborne separation in-trail procedure (ASEP-ITP) and Self-separation free flight track (ASAS-FFT).

The project commenced with the identification of crossing or passing scenarios with potential benefit to end-users. These scenarios were used to direct project activity in two different types of airspace, namely radar and non-radar. The main area of focus for the non-radar airspace was the North Atlantic Oceanic track system. More detailed descriptions of the scenarios and associated applications were developed to support fast-time and real-time simulations of the proposed procedures. Feedback from the simulations was used to refine the procedures and enable change proposals to International civil aviation organisation (ICAO) documentation to be developed. In parallel with the simulation activities, a safety assessment was performed to determine key implementation requirements. This enabled to assess the impact of the new procedures on both ground infrastructure and airborne equipment.