Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : ATM Operations, Architecture, Performance and Validation

Topic identifier: SESAR-ER3-06-2016
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:

The architecture of the overall ATM system is vast and complex; it has evolved piecemeal over many decades with no single ‘design authority’. Introducing change into this system is often difficult since it needs to take into account the many tight interdependencies that exist across the technical subsystems together with incumbent operational and institutional frameworks. A consequence of this situation is the difficulty to know the full implications of introducing change in any part of the system or on the system as a whole. Failure to properly understand this could mean that changes are introduced that result in uncontrolled system-wide degradation. This could be a particular concern with the increasing dependence on automation.

The challenge is therefore to better understand and model how architectural and design choices influence the ATM system and its various behaviours. This may be done using existing or novel approaches from systems analysis, architecture or complexity science.

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


Proposals for research activities on ATM system design and architecture may start by capturing the characteristics of today’s system, using an existing or novel method, to then analyse and propose evolutionary approaches aimed at guaranteeing its robust transition towards the future.

Proposals may also take a ‘clean sheet’ approach, exploiting the benefits of an unconstrained perspective. In either case it may be possible to learn lessons from other industries that have used new devices such as, for example, participatory design.

Research projects may propose innovative ideas for ATM system design incorporating flexibility, agility and resilience applying formal mathematical approaches at early phases of system design, or for modelling change. Furthermore, research projects may seek to provide a better understanding of the degree of coupling (loose/tight) among the different ATM subsystems, the nature of these interdependencies and their impact on the overall ATM system. New approaches should normally build on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) principles, with multiple service levels and tailored service provision. Agility should allow the ATM system to scale and adapt to meet different requirements for different times and places. Projects may also investigate the potential use of open-source and commercial off the shelf solutions. Finally, new designs should take into account security threats.

Harmonized infrastructure is a prerequisite for developments such as virtual centers and for the possible opening of the ANS market. Research projects may assess the potential benefits, analyse how the harmonization could be introduced through regulation, incentives and EC grants. It should address transition and standardization aspects as well as the restructuring of ANS and associated cost.

Projects should be careful not to spend time re-doing previous work on architecture that has been done in SESAR or elsewhere.

Expected Impact:

This research will support the ATM industry in better understanding the needs and challenges of developing a harmonised technical infrastructure for ANS, including its operational and economic impacts. Projects may demonstrate through examples and case-based arguments the potential of architecture in providing suitable means of assurance for validation or evidence to support decision-making and strategic thinking. Or the research projects may seek to provide a better understanding of the degree of coupling (loose/tight) among the different ATM subsystems, the nature of these interdependencies and their impact on the overall ATM system.

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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