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  • New Research Project: Dynamic Configuration Adjustment in the TMA (DYNCAT)

New Research Project: Dynamic Configuration Adjustment in the TMA (DYNCAT)

Enabling Environmentally Friendly Approach Profiles through Novel Pilot Support Functions

DYNCAT aims at enabling more environmentally friendly and more predictable flight profiles in the Terminal Manoeuvring Area TMA, namely on approach, by supporting the pilots in configuration management. Approach and take-off operations at busy airports are virtually always less noise and fuel efficient than possible due very rigid constraints imposed on the flight profiles by Air Traffic Control ATC (concerning both vertical profiles and speed regimes), but also due to lack of support to the pilots for dealing with given restrictions/constraints and actual weather in the optimum way. Current FMS functionalities do not support configuration management very well, only a simplified, static high-lift sequence with a fixed order is available. The adequacy of the actual procedure flown depends very much on the pilots’ skills, but also on their access to information such as actual wind situation and ATC intents.

The objectives of the project are
a) to analyze the impact of current mismatch of aircraft and ATC procedures on flyability (pilot workload, safety) and environmental impact (fuel burn and CO2, noise),
b) to propose amendments to on-board and ground procedures including identification of necessary enablers (technical, regulatory) and
c) to quantify ecological and economical potential of proposed improvements, including the prediction of 4D trajectories through exemplary analysis and early prototype simulation of newly designed configuration management functionality.

The study will be performed exemplarily using the A320 family as reference aircraft and the development of new FMS functionalities for the optimization of the high-lift system sequencing during approach as use case. Access to recordings of actual flight operational data, associated ATC instructions issued, weather data and noise measurements for a large number of operations in Swiss airspace on one hand and the implementation of the improved functionalities on an industrial test platform on the other hand allow for high validity and relevance of the results.


Funding: Horizon 2020 – Research and Innovation Framework Programme
Partners: SkyLab, DLR, EMPA, Swiss Airlines, Thales
Duration: 2020 – 2022
Evaluation Result: 99.2%
Contact: Martin Gerber (SkyLab)