Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

GAMMA project hands over the keys to future air traffic management

The Single European Sky (SES) considerably improved air traffic management (ATM) in Europe, whilst SESAR brought together some 3 000 experts to focus on the new generation of ATM. Recently, the GAMMA project went a step further by addressing remaining security issues in new global ATM scenarios.
GAMMA project hands over the keys to future air traffic management
GAMMA pretty much picks up on the work on ATM security developed by SESAR1. Taking advantage of the methodological framework it laid out, the project assesses ATM security from a system-to-system perspective, explores technological and operational opportunities, and proposes a security solution of its own.

“GAMMA has adopted innovative technologies, which were in turn applied to a range of different applications in the ATM security domain. But I would say that the most innovative aspect of the project lies in how these diverse applications are brought together to enable new and innovative concepts for the collaborative management of ATM security,” explains Giuliano d’Auria, coordinator of the project on behalf of Leonardo – the Italian high-tech company formerly known as Finmeccanica.

GAMMA’s methodology followed a well-defined activity flow, starting from threat assessment and continuing with architecture definition, prototypes design and validation exercises. A total of seven prototypes were developed. They were first validated in stand-alone configuration to assess their individual performance, before being geo-integrated in a set of prototypes for complex environments so as to validate scenarios involving the collaborative principles set out by the project.

“Stand-alone validations had demonstrated that the prototypes were capable of enhancing the security of the specific ATM system as well as support the implementation of broader collaborative principles for managing ATM security,” d’Auria explains. “Stakeholders and experts involved in a validation exercise applying the GAMMA concept to civil military scenarios, for example, recognised that the system enables an early reaction of the military to hijacking events, saving valuable time for the scrambling of fighters.”

Measurements performed during the exercise revealed a reaction time saving of almost 4 minutes, according to d’Auria. Validation carried out on another exercise involving information sharing at a European level demonstrated that the GAMMA setup can ensure the activation of countermeasures in less than 2 minutes.

All in all, GAMMA’s ATM security solution manages to build upon the principles and concepts of security management in a collaborative multi-stakeholder environment whilst taking into account current International and European legal frameworks and the constraints imposed by the respect of national sovereignty.

The vision of collaborative ATM security management is widely accepted as a principle guiding the implementation of an ATM Security Framework in Europe. As d’Auria points out, GAMMA contributes to discussions over the future shape of ATM Security Management by showing how to build upon these generally accepted principles, exploring their technological and operational implications and opportunities.

“The roadmap for collaborative management of ATM Security is still being laid out by European institutions and stakeholders. GAMMA contributes to this roadmap by providing concrete evidence of how the system could work and highlighting opportunities,” he says.

Many of GAMMA’s prototypes fit within a definite international roadmap for enhancing the security of the specific application. The road ahead for these prototypes is therefore well defined, according to d’Auria. For other prototypes where the roadmap is still being developed, he insists that further work is required to influence the definition of the future security framework.

Related information


GAMMA, SESAR, ATM, security
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