SESAR: First validation exercises kick off

In February, the first two validation exercises in the framework of the SESAR Release 2011 take place. The first SESAR Release will present to the aviation community initial results of the SESAR programme by the end of this year. The aim of the plan is to re-group projects and validation exercises to deliver together with the SESAR members as early as possible in the programme lifecycle tangible results at a pre-industrialisation stage.
SESAR 24.02.2011Within SESAR project 4.8.2 Evolution of Airborne Safety Nets, DSNA (project leader) with the support of Airbus, Egis Avia, Eurocontrol and NATS experts is investigating the generalisation of Auto Pilot / Flight Director TCAS (AP/FD TCAS). Airbus has recently developed and certified this new function. This guidance mode aims at supporting pilots flying TCAS Resolution Advisories (RA) through an automated solution. To reduce the risk of mid-air collision, TCAS is mandatory worldwide onboard all civil transport aircraft since 2003. This device triggers RA telling the pilot the manoeuvre he has to fly in order to avoid a potential threat. However, it is observed that some of these RAs can confuse the aircrew and add to their stress level as they may contradict air traffic controllers instructions leading to some wrong reactions. The validation exercises conducted at DSNA premises should validate this generalisation expected to dramatically cut collision risk.

Also in February, a first set of validation exercises conducted by NATS and aiming at improving the link between smaller airports and the CFMU take place. To this end, a new prototype system has been installed at Southampton Airport in the UK, providing an improved means of communication enabling the CFMU to be kept up-to-date with the status of departing aircraft. A second set of validations will take place during the autumn of 2011 (also at Southampton).
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