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General aviation Rescue capacity IMprovement for the worldwide Adoption of a Safe Solution based on European GNSS

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - GRIMASSE (General aviation Rescue capacity IMprovement for the worldwide Adoption of a Safe Solution based on European GNSS)

Reporting period: 2017-11-01 to 2018-10-31

The Search-And-Rescue issue for General aviation is essential, in terms of operational workload for rescue teams and potential lives saved. Indeed:
- a large majority of aeronautical accidents involve general aviation aircrafts and they are are the ones with the highest immediate survival rate: only 1 accident over 6 is lethal, so that the capability to rapidly rescue the survivors is the key for saving more lives.
- few general aviation aircrafts are equipped with costly SAR beacons dedicated to aviation (ELT), and they are not presented as mandatory users by the current ICAO evolutions for in-flight activated beacons (ELT(DT)). Moreover, during GA SAR operation the connection between the RCC and the stakeholders (flight clubs, ATS, families...) are mainly manual, based on investigation and contact skills, lowly supported by organized procedures and common tools, in particular at an international level.
- The MEOSAR system evolutions, and in particular Galileo could provide technical and operational solutions for the improvement of SAR services in GA: ICAO opened in December 2016 an agenda item to evaluate the feasibility of an ADT adapted to other aircrafts than commercial ones (GADSS ADT.07). In parallel, new uses of Galileo for MEOSAR (through the Return-Link) are intensively discussed for PLB (Personal Beacons), EPIRB (Maritime Beacons) and more recently ELT(DT) mainly for remote activation. Finally, the organization of exchanges in aviation around SWIM concepts is well advanced, but hardly dealing with SAR.

The improvement of SAR for GA is then at a crossing point between:
- The highest contributor to potential saved lives in aviation and RCC workload
- The less equipped and standardized users in the whole SAR domain
- The last domain having not yet integrated new concepts for SAR, in particular the ones provided by Galileo MEOSAR

EGNSS role for such improvement is twofold with the improvement of encoded GNSS position by the use of specific Galileo features and EGNOS, and with the availability of the MEOSAR system, including in particular the Galileo Return-Link service.

The GRIMASSE project proposes an answer to those needs by developing an operational concept based on anchoring the Galileo SAR service in the SWIM information sharing concept.
"GRIMASSE Kick-Off Meeting took place in Toulouse on December, 7th, 2017.
GRIMASSE Users' Needs' Collection Workshop took place in Barcelona on January, 31st, 2018. It gathered Search And Rescue operators and General Aviation pilots around the question of their needs and issues when dealing with a distress situation. Two questionnaires were released after the workshop:
- ""GRIMASSE - SAR User Needs Questionnaire"" https://goo.gl/forms/tAeyMb5vj99PffwV2
- ""GRIMASSE – GA pilot needs for a distress beacon"" https://goo.gl/forms/u3qrXlQj3JrZgr3A3

TASF claimed in P1 EUR 42.157,32 consuming only 5 % of the Personnel costs budget and using 8 % of the PMs. foreseen in the proposal. This is due to an error probably because the person who usually did the cost statement was replaced by a new one, and some costs have probably been not declared. We suggest to add these costs in the next cost statement for the Reporting Period 2, as an adjustment."
The current state of the art is that General Aviation (GA) lacks an appropriate COSPAS-SARSAT (C/S) solution for alert message transmission in case of distress. Neither the Personal Locator Beacon, nor the existing aeronautical Emergency Locator Transmitters are fully suitable for the needs of GA pilots and SAR services. PLBs are complicated to activate in case of distress (they, in particular, suppose that the pilot is conscious) and ELTs are not transportable, activate only manually or on crash detection when most of the time the transmission system does may not survive the crash. In addition, registration and information collection management should also be improved in the meanwhile to better help RCCs complete their tasks. It is then crucial to make sure that an appropriate solution is developed for General Aviation, which would improve the survival rate of pilots and passengers, based on the combination of advantages of ELTs (aircraft external antenna, and possibility to introduce automated in-flight activation) and PLBs (portability, cost).

Based on these elements, the European Horizon 2020 project GRIMASSE (https://grimassegsaprojet.wordpress.com/) as follow up of GRICAS (http://www.gricas-gsa-project.eu/) believes that the Galileo SAR service as part of the C/S MEOSAR system can contribute to a significantly improved flight safety and proposes to develop:
- a complete operational concept and an associated demonstrator of a GA C/S distress beacon, designed to specifically cover the needs of GA Search & Rescue operation chain stakeholders (pilots, aircraft operators, RCC operators)
- the operational concept and a demonstrator of a highly automatized SAR communications management system based on the ICAO’s System Wide Information Management (SWIM, SESAR in Europe) services architecture for SAR operation actors. This new system shall contribute to improve the response times and increase the survival rate of GA users.

The project intends to extend and tailor the principles established by ICAO for the commercial aviation in the GADSS and the operational concepts defined in GRICAS (Funded under H2020 Call Galileo-2015-1) to general aviation by developing three products:

A prototype of a cost-effective ELT(DT) beacon based on spread spectrum new MEOSAR waveform dedicated to General Aviation airplanes and helicopters including the Automatic Distress Tracking functionalities. This ELT(DT) would be suitable for general aviation, affordable by small structures like flight-clubs and private pilots, easy to plug into the aircraft and with minor or no alterations to the avionics and to the aircraft. The cost effective ELT(DT) would implement automatic in-flight triggers like the new ELT-DT. The low-cost ELT(DT) could be used by all general aviation pilots. Any aircraft flying could then be equipped with an ADT and a SAR beacon to ease the transmission and the collection of information in case of distress and crash.

A set of applications to optimize the transmission and collect of SAR information by the RCCs and the MCCs, based on SWIM (System Wide Information Management) which consists of standards, infrastructure and governance enabling the management of ATM related information and its exchange between qualified parties via interoperable services. Those SWIM services are essential to improve the RCCs aeronautical SAR operations to answer to C/S SAR ELT(DT) alerts

A MEOLUT and an ELT(DT) MCC implementing functions to distribute ELT(DT) SAR alerts and cancellation messages and the MEOLUT algorithm to maximize the detection probability of the general aviation distresses. Any LUT or MCC could process the messages of the low cost ELT(DT) based on C/S standards and forward the information to the related RCC. However, possible improvements in this distribution chain will be identified, implemented, demonstrated, and supported in standardization entities by GRIMASSE project. With the additional information coming from the SWIM application, they will dramatically reduce the response time to a general aviation distress, improve the localization performance and therefore increase the survival rate.