The demonstration will combine ground-based airport systems and on-board EFB applications by sharing data between them. Locally available airport data are transferred to the cockpit to support surface operations by the flight crew. With this approach, the airspace user can also benefit from the solutions, originally developed to support ground controllers, in operating aircraft movements on the airport surface.
The demonstration will take place at Hamburg Airport. Traffic information and planned routes for aircraft will be calculated using real operational data from the Hamburg Airport Research and Innovation Facility (ARIF), which is connected to the Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control Systems (A-SMGCS) and flight plan systems at Hamburg Airport. This platform is operated by DLR, Hamburg Airport, and the German Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) DFS.
ARIF also provides flight information with a direct interface to the Airport Database including A-CDM (Airport Collaborative Decision Making) information. Based on this information, the SINTEF Optimization Service automatically generates and maintains a current, optimized, ground-based routing plan, with detailed taxi routing and timing information, for all arriving and departing aircraft at the airport.
With these functionalities already in place thanks to the demonstrations in project PJ28 IAO, AUDIO will reuse the demonstration set-up and add the connection to the on-board EFB to share the local airport information with the flight crew.
With a secured network connection, the traffic situation and the planned route will be shared with Lufthansa central Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) server systems and distributed to the EFB of the related aircraft using wireless technologies. Lufthansa aircraft are equipped with an EFB moving map application which is already used during normal day-to-day operations. An advanced version of this application, including these additional functions, will be integrated into one or several aircraft of the Lufthansa fleet.
Flight crews will evaluate the functionalities while operating at Hamburg Airport in day-to-day operations. Route planning and departure sequencing will be demonstrated in passive shadow mode to not interfere with real airport operations.
The transmission of these dynamic data (like a taxi route) provides improved common situational awareness for the pilots during taxiing, thus contributing to the effectiveness of the overall airport safety net.
Airport Research and Innovation Facility - ARIF
The ARIF platform has interfaces to the airport operational systems that provide real-time information on aircraft arrivals, departures, and surface movements (A-CDM database, A-SMGCS, Departure Planning Information). The live data can be accessed either in real-time through the Airport Operations Distribution Service, or the Airport Operations database, respectively.
The ARIF platform will be configured to support the necessary roles and working positions for the new operating method.
ARIF will be extended by implementing an interface to the external EFB server system operated by Lufthansa. In a first step, a secured data connection service will be added to the ARIF infrastructure. This will be provided by the IT support of Hamburg airport, to make sure all safety and security requirements are covered. In a second step, the data interface will be implemented.
SINTEF ATC Optimization Service
The SINTEF ATC Optimization Service automatically generates and maintains a current, optimized, ground based routing plan, with detailed taxi routing and timing information, for all arriving and departing aircraft at the airport. Deviations between the current plan and the real situation can be detected automatically by the system and filtered for significance. When information on a substantial plan deviation occurs, for instance a delay of the current Target Start Up Approval Time (TSAT), the system will automatically react by updating the current plan and alerting the Air Traffic Controllers through the A-SMGCS Traffic Situation Display. The Controllers also have the possibility to interact with the service to ask for different routes when they see the need for it.
The SINTEF ATC Optimization Service for automated routing and departure planning will be configured to the latest Hamburg airport layout.
Lufthansa Centralized EFB Server
The Lufthansa EFB Server is connected to the ARIF by a secured interface. Traffic situation data and relevant route information will be received and processed. The server is then responsible for distributing the information to the relevant aircraft.
EFB Data Service
The EFB Data service is the connection between the ARIF Hamburg and the EFB Server operated by Lufthansa.
Based on defined data exchange protocols the EFB data service will generate and send traffic information and route information from Hamburg to the centralized server, which distributes it further to the relevant aircraft.
Connected Moving Map – EFB Application
The Connected Moving Map (CMM) application is the on-board system to display the airport layout map together with the surrounding traffic and the planned route calculated by the SESAR solutions provided by SINTEF. The application will be installed on the operational EFB systems in the cockpit. The new functionalities of the Connected Moving Map application (traffic situation information and routing guidance information) are under test. The functionalities will be operated and evaluated by dedicated flight crews. Instructions and clearances will be handled by radio transmission communications as usual and the crew will not act based on the information displayed on the CCM.
A-SMGCS Hamburg Airport
The Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS) routing function calculates the planned taxi route and time.
The ICAO Doc 9830 defines A-SMGCS as a system providing routing, guidance and surveillance for the control of aircraft and vehicles in order to maintain the declared surface movement rate under all weather conditions within the aerodrome visibility operational level (AVOL) while maintaining the required level of safety.
Hamburg Airport Operations Database
The Hamburg Airport Operations Database, including Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM), provides the flight information.
The demonstration exercise will use a combination of shadow mode and operational systems to demonstrate the solutions. This technique is used to demonstrate pre-operational systems, providing them with live data from the real airport environment, while not interfering with airport operations.
The operation of the ground system, generating planned routes and updated routings by controller inputs, will be operated in shadow mode by the partners, based on the real operations at the airport. There will be no interference with the live operations at the airport. On Duty controllers completely control the traffic on the airfield.
For the onboard part of the system no passive shadow mode is possible, as no additional flight crew will operate the CMM system in parallel to the operational flight crew. The EFB CMM application will be used as a support system, as in normal operations, with additional functionalities. Flight crews will be trained and procedures on the usage during the exercises will be defined. Within the scope of this project, no radiotelephony taxi-clearances will be replaced. The route will be considered as an indication to the cockpit and shall not replace existing processes for crews before start-up.
One of the main purposes of performing operational demonstrations is to de-risk the industrial deployment of the SESAR solutions. In this perspective, the demonstration shall be assessed for the main technical and operational factors remaining to be considered before deployment of the CMM application.
AUDIO will evaluate the benefits gained from using the SESAR solutions on the ground and in the air. Additional benefits are expected when the local airport data is shared with the flight crew through the Connected Moving Map functionalities.
Quantitative data which is available via the ARIF platform will be collected. Qualitative data will also be collected by means of methods like observation logs, interviews and questionnaires.
Quality and availability of live data are essential for the usability of the solutions. Unforeseen situations or operational changes that have not been part of validations so far, have to be covered by the systems. This needs to be proven by the demonstration exercises within the VLD before integrating the solutions into active control systems at the airports or onboard aircraft.