Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Enabling Aviation Infrastructure: CNS for General Aviation

Topic identifier: SESAR-ER3-04-2016
Publication date: 15 December 2016

Types of action: SESAR-RIA Research and Innovation action
Opening date:
15 December 2016
Deadline: 11 May 2017 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-JTI-SESAR-2016
Work Programme Part: SESAR Work Plan 2016
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Communication, navigation and surveillance (CNS) systems are the building blocks on which air traffic management operates. Despite many activities in the CNS domain there remain a number of areas where more research is needed. This topic looks at CNS for GA.

With reference to the SJU Annual Work Programme 2016, this topic covers Section 3.5.4, sub Work area 1.2 topic c).

The GA community is large and operates a wide variety of aircraft types, ranging from para-gliders costing under 2,000 € to multi-engined aircraft costing several million Euros. As CNS technologies become more complex to support the needs of the commercial aviation community, the GA community can find it hard or impossible to afford the many complex certified systems that are being developed. One possible solution is to allow smaller non-certified technologies, developed specifically to be used by the GA community, to be used alongside the more-expensive full specification, certified devices.


Research projects are expected to propose ideas for combining existing on-board, new and evolving technologies and ground equipment for enhancing CNS capabilities for GA and rotorcraft. The target community for this research is at the lower end of the capability, where many operators are private with a real need for low-cost devices. Ideas should include not only technological issues, but also how use of such equipment could be enabled through an appropriate measure of standardisation, certification and regulation.

Research ideas shall address CNS solutions for GA and rotorcraft communities, which are combined due to the similar needs for miniaturization and integration capabilities. However, it should not be assumed that all ideas will be appropriate for both communities, and differences, where identified, should be clearly addressed.

Applicants are free to select areas of research, but the following ideas are presented to stimulate thinking:

  • In the communication domain, 3G and 4G (and maybe 5G) mobile telecommunications networks could be used to deliver a low-cost data link capability to enable flight, aeronautical and meteorological information to be shared with the pilot in flight.

  • In the navigation domain innovative research ideas, concepts and technologies for small aircraft are needed as a suitable back-up/continuity system for GNSS (e.g. affordable inertial systems and use of ‘other’ signals (signals of opportunity) for navigation integrity). The options for advanced alternative PNT systems should also be considered.

  • In surveillance, ADS-B is being widely adopted, and benefits to pilots and ATC are clear. However, take-up in the GA community is low, mostly due to the cost of certified GNSS units and transponders. Projects could investigate how non-certified units could be used to provide the benefits to the GA community and to ATC, at a reasonable cost, without adversely affecting other airspace users or the wider ATC environment.

GA pilots sometimes lack the training and experience of their professional counterparts, and so the introduction of an array of new technologies and displays into the cockpit has the potential to distract the pilot from his/her primary actions. Such information-overload, from new displays such as traffic situational awareness, moving-map displays or data link terminals, could introduce a safety hazard by distracting the pilot from his/her visual traffic scan or from monitoring the primary flight instruments. The project shall also research the safety impact in terms of human factors associated with the introduction of new low-cost devices into the GA cockpit.

Applicants must demonstrate a good understanding of airborne aspects of GA operations and ATC. In addition, they must possess a good technological understanding of the technologies being researched and, where appropriate, spectrum management. Finally, applicants shall demonstrate a good understanding of standardisation, certification and regulation in the aviation domain.

The research activities shall cover the full picture. This includes development of the concept of operations, participation in periodic meetings, production of all the documentation related to the research (most notably including the project management plan and the final report), and results dissemination and communication activities. The demonstration report shall include a full analysis of operational, technological and regulatory issues for each technology researched. Recommendations for standardisation and regulation should be made, and anticipated difficulties should be highlighted.

Expected Impact:

There is a risk that, as the aviation environment becomes more complex and CNS technologies advance, GA operators could be priced out of the market, or their activities could be restricted by not being able to integrate with more advanced aviation stakeholders and environments. This research will help to narrow the gap, ensuring continued safe and unrestricted operations by the GA community.

Topic conditions and documents

Please read carefully all provisions below before the preparation of your application.

  1. List of countries and applicable rules for funding: described in part A of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme.
    Note also that a number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual.

  2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in part B and C of the General Annexes of the General Work Programme and in the SJU Annual Work Programme.

    Proposal page limits and layout: Please refer to Part B of the SJU proposal template in the electronic submission system.
  3. Evaluation

    3.1  Evaluation criteria and procedure, scoring and threshold: described in the SJU Annual Work Programme.

    3.2 Submission and evaluation process: Guide to the submission and evaluation process

  4. Indicative timetable for evaluation and grant agreement:

    Information on the outcome of single-stage evaluation: maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
    Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.

  5. Provisions, proposal templates and evaluation forms for the type(s) of action(s) under this topic:

    Research and Innovation Action:

    Specific provisions and funding rates
    Standard evaluation form
    SJU Model Grant Agreement

            Annotated Grant Agreement

6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply.

 7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions, and proposals must refer to measures envisaged. Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

This topic participates per default in the open access to research data pilot which aims to improve and maximise access to and re-use of research data generated by projects:

- The pilot applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available for open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan (to be provided within six months after the project start).

- Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they are part of the Pilot, and will not be penalised for opting out of the Pilot.

- Projects can at any stage opt-out of the pilot.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.
Further information on the Open Research Data Pilot is made available in the H2020 Online Manual.

9. SJU additional documents


ER/VLD Call Technical Specifications

SJU Annual Work Programme
ATM Master Plan
Project Execution Guidance for SESAR 2020 Exploratory research (ER3) 
Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Horizon 2020 Specific Programme  


Additional documents

  • SPD 2017 en
  • Frequently Asked Questions en
  • Frequently Asked Questions Batch II en
  • Flash Info Call en

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No submission system is open for this topic.

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