SESAR conducts real-time simulation

Real-time simulations of a future ATM system for Europe have been conducted for the first time at the facilities of Dutch aerospace research organisation NLR.

NLR and Dutch air traffic control agency LVNL have teamed up as consortium to jointly execute projects within the wider research programme called SESAR which is at the heart of efforts to develop a modern airspace system for the continent.

These real-time simulations were part of SESAR’s Tactical TMA and En-route Queue Management project, led by Italian air traffic control ENAV, in which new techniques are used to ensure that aircraft arrival can be planned earlier.

The advantage of early planning is that a more stable and more predictable stream of aircraft is created while minimising delay. When the planning horizon from Schiphol airport is extended into Dutch airspace, one soon extends past the Dutch border. For that reason Maastricht Upper Area Control, responsible for handling the high traffic above the Netherlands, Belgium and North-Germany, was also involved in these simulations.

Over the last months, a simulation environment was set up on NLR’s research ATC simulator NARSIM allowing inbound traffic to be coordinated above Germany. The Maastricht controllers receive a data-message with a request to clear an inbound aircraft for a certain speed.

In The Netherlands, this speed is then subsequently adopted by the LVNL controllers. The speed advice is calculated such that a stable stream of inbound traffic to Schiphol is created that can be more easily handled in the last phase of the flight. This concept, in which speed advices are automatically calculated for inbound aircraft is part of the so-called Speed And Route Advisory (SARA) project of LVNL.

The above Extended Arrival Management operations form a crucial part of the SESAR concept. The results of the simulation will contribute to the overall operational concept of SESAR which aims to modernise the European ATM system.

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Posted in Airports, CAAs/ANSPs, Innovation, News, SESAR, Single European Sky

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