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TBO-MET Report Summary

Project ID: 699294
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - TBO-MET (Meteorological Uncertainty Management for Trajectory Based Operations)

Reporting period: 2016-12-01 to 2017-05-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

"The TBO-Met project corresponds to the research topic ""Environment & Meteorology for ATM"", which is part of the research area ""ATM Excellent Science & Outreach"" of the SESAR 2020 Exploratory Research programme (call H2020-SESAR-2015-1). TBO-Met is coordinated by the University of Seville (Spain) and the rest of the consortium is formed by the following members: University Carlos III of Madrid (Spain), University of Salzburg (Austria), MeteoSolutions GmbH (Darmstadt, Germany) and the Spanish meteorological agency AEMET (Agencia Estatal de Meteorología).

In this project we address the problem of analysing and quantifying the effects of meteorological uncertainties in Trajectory Based Operations. In particular, two problems are considered: 1) trajectory planning under meteorological uncertainties and 2) sector demand analysis under meteorological uncertainties, which correspond to two different scales: trajectory (micro) scale and sector (meso) scale. In each problem two types of meteorological uncertainties are considered: wind uncertainty and convective zones (including individual storm cells). Weather predictions will be based on Ensemble Probabilistic Forecasts and Nowcasts.

At the trajectory scale, the main objective is to improve the predictability of aircraft trajectories when subject to meteorological uncertainty keeping acceptable levels of efficiency, both at the pre-tactical level (up to three hours before departure) and at the tactical level (during the flight). To reach this goal, a methodology based on the use of stochastic trajectory optimization will be used, which will be evaluated and assessed using advanced air traffic simulation facilities.

At the sector scale, the main objective is to increase the accuracy of the prediction of sector demand when meteorological uncertainty is taken into account. To achieve this objective, a methodology will be developed to measure the uncertainty of sector demand (probabilistic sector loading), based on the uncertainty of the individual trajectories. This analysis will also provide an understanding of how weather uncertainty is propagated from the trajectory scale to the sector scale (this problem of uncertainty propagation between different scales of the system is one of the main research challenges in the understanding of the effects of meteorological uncertainty in the ATM system).

Overall, the expected outcome of the project is two-fold: 1) to enhance our understanding of the impact of meteorological uncertainty in TBO, and 2) to develop methodologies to quantify the impact of meteorological uncertainty in TBO.

To help in achieving the project objectives, a survey among the stakeholders involved (airlines, ANSPs and Network Manager) has been performed. The main result of the survey has been a first-hand expert description of current practice and future expectations, which will serve as a valuable reference for the project activities.

This project is fully aligned with the objectives of the SESAR 2020 Exploratory Research programme, in particular the following ones related to the ""Meteorology"" topic: ""to enhance meteorological capabilities and their integration into ATM planning processes for improving ATM efficiency"" and ""to develop 4D trajectories that are optimised to take account of all environmental considerations"", and where the following impact is expected: ""to enhance ATM efficiency by integrating meteorological information"".

The importance of this project for society is linked to the benefits for the passengers and the different stakeholders expected from the outcome of the project.


Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the 2nd reporting period is summarized next per Work Package:

1) In WP 1 the Project Management Plan has been produced (deliverable D1.1), the 1st and 2nd Steering Board meetings have been held (milestones MS3 and MS6), and the 1st Technical/Financial Progress Report has been delivered.
2) In WP 2 we have defined the meteorological input for WP 4 and WP 5 (D2.1, D2.2, D2.3, and D2.4). The required software is available to partners (milestone MS5).
3) In WP 3 the survey among stakeholders has been conducted (D3.1 and D3.2). The objectives of the survey have been met: on one hand, from the answers received, nothing tells us that the TBO-Met project is not aligned with the stakeholders’ interests, and, on the other, some ideas for future research have been provided by the participants.
4) In WP 4 the work on trajectory planning has continued: D4.1 was completed and D4.2 is quite advanced (it is due on T0+15, during the 3rd reporting period). The achievement of the objective is at about 70%. Basically, the pre-tactical analysis has been completed and the tactical analysis is quite advanced.
5) In WP 5 the work on sector demand has continued: D5.1 was completed and D5.2 has just started (it is due on T0+18, at the end of the 3rd reporting period). The achievement of the objectives is at about 50%. Basically, the methodologies have been defined and we have started to work on both the pre-tactical and tactical sector demand problems.
6) WP 6 is scheduled for the 2nd half of the project. Nonetheless, prelimary work has been done to start with the adaptation of the simulation facilities to the needs of WP 4 and WP 5. A coordination meeting in Salzburg took place during this reporting period.
7) In WP 7 the dissemination, communication, exploitation and data management plans have been elaborated (D7.1, D7.2, D7.3 and D7.4) and approved (milestone MS4). Different communication and dissemination activities have been carried out: blog posts; TBO_Met website, Twitter, and Research Gate profile; posters and presentations at conferences and workshops; and paper publications.
8) In WP 8 the ethics requirements have been implemented (D8.1, D8.2 and D8.3).

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

During the 1st and 2nd reporting periods, the work carried out has been mainly devoted to
1) setting the management framework (work packages 1, 7 and 8),
2) defining the input for the technical part of the project (WP 2),
3) conducting the survey among stakeholders (WP 3),
4) developing the technical work on trajectory planning (WP 4), already completed at about 70%, and
5) developing the technical work on sector demand (WP 5), already developed at about 50%.

The results obtained during this 1st half of the project show that the objectives of TBO-Met have been partially achieved, namely:
1. The trade-off between predictability and efficiency can be quantified (at this stage, at pre-tactical level – Task 4.1)
2. The sector demand uncertainty can be measured (at this stage, the methodology has been developed and its potentiality has been shown – Task 5.1)

Therefore, the expected impacts described in the Grant Agreement (Annex1, part B) are still relevant. More especifically, the following: a) for passengers, the reductions of delays; b) from the airlines perspective, the improvement of flight predictability and the reduction of risks; c) from the ANSP side, the better allocation of resources and the reduction of ATC workload; and d) from the Network Manager side, the better identification of the ATFCM measures to be applied (for example, rerouting, advancing traffic, or slot allocation).

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