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Airborne Integrated Systems for Safety Improvement, Flight Hazard Protection and All Weather Operations


Air traffic worldwide is expected to triple within the next 20 years. With the existing on-board and ground-based systems, this would lead to an increase of aircraft accidents, in a similar or higher proportion. Despite the fact that accidents are rare, this increase is perceived as unacceptable by society, and new systems and solutions must be found to maintain the number of accidents at its current low level. The first thing to be done is to provide the pilots with new systems allowing them to make the right decision at all times.

Project objectives

FLYSAFE will be the first big step towards achieving Vision 2020 objectives for safety in airspace. It will allow the design, development, implementation, testing and validation of a complete Next Generation Integrated Surveillance System (NG ISS).

FLYSAFE will focus particularly on the areas identified as the main causes of accidents around the world: loss of control, controlled flight into terrain, and approach and landing. It will address the three types of threats: traffic collision, ground collision, and adverse weather conditions, and develop for each of them new systems and functions, notably: improved situation awareness, advance warning, alert prioritisation and enhanced human-machine interface.

FLYSAFE will also develop solutions to enable all aircraft to retrieve, in the near future, timely, dedicated and improved weather information by means of a set of Weather Information Management Systems (WIMS), which is able to gather, format and send to the aircraft all atmospheric data relevant for the safety of their flight, presented in an innovative and consistent way to the pilot. Innovative prediction capabilities will be deployed to provide warnings, which are optimised with respect to the simultaneous constraints of safety and airspace capacity.

Description of the work

The project starts with a review of the results of past and on-going investigation of accidents and incidents, the identification of all contributing causes, and the definition of ways to address them. The results of this analysis will then feed the evaluation tasks with scenarios that will be used to assess new versus state-of-the-art technologies.

The three main types of hazard sources for aviation have led to the creation of three project branches, with a fourth branch dedicated to the development of the Next Generation Integrated Surveillance System itself with the integration of their outputs.

  • Atmospheric hazards’ will develop means to increase the on-board awareness regarding all major sources of atmospheric hazards (wake vortices, wind shear, clear air turbulence, icing, and thunderstorms)
  • ‘Traffic hazards’ will develop means to increase the crews’ traffic situation awareness and provide them with information on potential traffic hazards along the flight path
  • Terrain information management’ will develop means to increase the crews’ terrain and obstacle situation awareness, and provide them with information on the potential terrain and obstacle hazards along the flight path.

As part of the NGISS, innovative system functions will be developed, notably:

  • Tactical alert management to help the crew to manage a tactical situation where an immediate response is required from them
  • Intelligent Crew Support to help the crew with cockpit interface usage and standard procedures application in order to lower the occurrence of ‘loss of control’ situations
  • Strategic data consolidation to anticipate any identified risks related to atmospheric phenomena, traffic and terrain, along the flight path in all flight phases
  • New displays and audio management functions.

Standardisation and certification activities will pave the way for the introduction and promotion of future products, thus reducing the time to market.

Finally, the validation of the complete system and proof of concept, with both ground and on-board components, will be provided by a set of simulator and flight tests, involving a representative group of pilots.

Expected results

The project will culminate with the production of a complete safety-related integrated system (NG ISS), embodying all the innovations, connected to a test bed that will allow activation, running simulations and evaluation of the safety gains obtainable by future marketable systems based on those features.

The Weather Information Management Systems (WIMS) will be key deliverables of the project. They will have been validated in the project in support of the NG ISS, and will be used to enhance both the safety and efficiency of air transport through their use for provision of services to other stakeholders in the air transport sector (ATC, airlines).

Flight test results will be used to validate the complete chain of weather information processing (aircraft atmospheric data, downlink, WIMS and routine data, uplink, weather data fusion) and to populate a weather database to be used during the full simulation evaluation.

All these results will contribute to achieving the ACARE goal of reducing the rate of accidents by 80% within 20 years.