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INTEGRATED AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEM HARDWARE-IN-THE-LOOP SIMULATOR (IATCSHILS)

Purpose

IATCSHILS is a hardware-in-the-loop ATC research simulator facility designed for:

  • Onboard (pilots and avionics) and ground-based (ATC controllers and planners as well as ATC automation tools) components functional interoperability study and development for surveillance and navigation in complex environment;

  • Enhancement of airborne surveillance and navigation system capabilities, related to the delegation of authority to pilots;

  • New avionics and CNS (Communication, Navigation and Surveillance) system efficiency assessment;

  • Evaluation of advanced ATM (Air Traffic Management) concepts, techniques, methods, technologies and assessment of state-of-the-art aircraft equipment compliance with advanced ATM concepts and technologies.

Current tasks

  • Advanced airborne surveillance and navigation systems development:

    • Conflict Detection, CD;

    • Airborne Conflict Management, ACM;

    • Enhanced Visual Acquisition, EVAcq;

    • Rerouting;

    • Enhanced Visual Approach, EVApp;

    • Final Approach and Runway Occupancy Awareness, FAROA;

    • Airport Surface Situational Awareness, ASSA;

    • In-Trail Procedure, ITP.

  • Controller-pilot data link communications (CPDLC) optimization.

  • New AMAN (arrival management)/DAMAN (departure management) procedures and technologies simulation.

  • Airfield surface movement guidance and control system (ASMGCS) simulation.

  • Air traffic flow management and planning algorithms refinement (ATFMP).

Basic simulation principles

The interaction is provided by a common message dispatcher which among other things provides UTS (unified time system) implementation, whereas:

  • Dynamic models implement a distributed computing method. This guarantees the independent system logic. Dynamic model computation process is synchronized by UTS.

  • A common database is used. The concept is in some ways similar to SWIM (system wide integrity management) data-sharing concept.

  • Simulation process control and synchronization are provided by a message dispatcher both in real-time and fast-time scale.

Simulation is carried out in accordance with the following logic:

  • All aeronautical data, aircraft data, air traffic flow data is stored in scenario libraries of a common database.

  • At simulation initialization stage this information is copied into operational tables, and all applications – simulator components – refer to these tables. Initialization signal is transmitted via TCP/IP (transmission control protocol/internet protocol).

  • During the simulation process all models and simulators exchange status-change data via TCP/IP protocol.

  • During the simulation process all flight (track) data and system event data is stored in the database, in the form of tables specially designed for simulation data logging.

  • After completion of simulation process the logged data is archived and is available for post-flight analysis.

IATCSHILS components

Experiment management workstation (EMW) - presimulation preparation (scenario preparation), simulation work, subsystem data exchange support, simulation data analysis, report generation.

EMW is a core element of the whole IATCSHLS system. EMW software serves as an integrator for the entire simulator, acting as an arbiter, controlling the simulation progress and providing data exchange between all simulator components.

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EMW user interface (experiment preparation and carrying out, simulation data analysis) – ”Experiment management” software tool.

EMW software includes a set of different software tools, both fully automatic and using man-machine interface. With the help of these tools the EMW operator can generate different sets of raw data used by simulator components and then use these data sets for a specific experiment. During the simulation session the EMW software allows to monitor the progress of work and direct it using data, received from other sources, including graphic information displayed in various visualization systems. Besides, the software package includes simulation data logging and processing tools for follow-on analysis.

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EMW user interface (experiment progress monitoring) – “air situation visualization” software tool. The figure shows ground surveillance system data, a selected flight planned route and thunderstorm clouds position.

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EMW user interface (experiment progress monitoring) - “3D air situation visualization” software tool.

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3D air situation visualization. Flight over Sheremetyevo airport.

Advanced aircraft cockpit simulator – at present IATCSHILS features three cockpit simulators: 1) cockpit simulator developed by FGUP GosNIIAS and FGUP Flight Research Center; 2) MC-21 cockpit simulator developed by FGUP GosNIIAS; 3) FGUP TsAGI cockpit simulator.

FGUP Flight Research Center has developed and implemented in civil aircraft cockpit demonstrator new cockpit instrumentation and avionics prototypes. Unified data display and input methods comply with intuitive algorithm of aircrew activity at various stages of flight.

Cockpit simulators feature instrumentation, flight and navigation, and avionics touch screen control, as well as remote cursor control, data input and voice control.

IATCSHLS aircraft prototyping facility is designed for pilot-in-the-loop aircraft flight simulation for advanced cockpit hardware/software system development.

The simulator allows generating and updating a flight plan. All flight stages can be simulated: airfield taxiing, take-off, climb, en-route cruise flight, descent and landing. CPDLC channel and traditional voice communications are used for pilot-controller data exchange.

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Advanced aircraft cockpit.

At present FGUP GosNIIAS MC-21 and FGUP TsAGI cockpits integration is completed.

ATC controller workstation uses the software of MK-2000 redundant ATC system, installed in the Moscow regional center. The updated version includes advanced controller functions (CPDLC, MONA (modular navigation), receipt of self separation requests, rerouting etc.).

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MK-2000 ATC controller workstation user interface.

ATC controller workstation provides all major air traffic control functions, performed by a real controller en-route, during approach and in the airport area:

  • air traffic monitoring, dangerous situation identification;

  • controlled aircraft flight control (control command generation and transfer, receipt of other ATM interested parties recommendations, pilot-controller voice and digital communications);

  • provision of agreed volume of information on air traffic situation to other airspace users and interested parties.

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Upgraded software ATC workstation user interface.

For cockpit simulator operation as part of the IATCSHILS its software is configured to allow cockpit simulator automated mode operation under the EMW control.

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ATC workstation. Right – “Kamerton” voice communication system.

ATC workstation uses the software of MK-2000 redundant ATC system, installed in the Moscow regional center. The updated version includes advanced controller functions (CPDLC, MONA (modular navigation), receipt of self separation requests, rerouting etc.).

AMAN (Arrival management) workstation allows to simulate arrival controller operations and to generate data on regulatory actions for air traffic controllers.

AMAN workstation software simulates the process of aircraft arrival scheduling by a planning controller. AMAN workstation is intended for air traffic study in the ATM “bottleneck” – in the airport area and on the airfield itself.

AMAN workstation planning controller operation simulation consists in arriving aircraft flow scheduling simulation: based on actual planning data arriving aircraft conflict situations (separation rules violation) in the airport area and during runway landing are predicted, manually or automatically conflict management techniques are worked out for the aircraft (flight plan change) and proposed management techniques coordination is carried out: the AMAN workstation controller must coordinate the proposed techniques with air traffic controller who, in his turn, coordinates them with the aircrew. In case of a proposed technique acceptance air traffic controller forwards this information to the central planning system for this aircraft flight plan updating.

The proposed technology for the most part complies with current foreign solutions. For some years major airports (e.g. in London and Frankfurt) use decision making support software for arriving aircraft management.

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AMAN workstation user interface (AMAN software tool).

The characteristic feature of the system is the availability of automatic optimization procedure that allows obtaining conflict-free variants of arriving aircraft flows in the automatic mode. In this case optimization problem solution algorithms are used, allowing to find solutions more close to the global optimum as compared to techniques used in the majority of similar foreign systems (e.g. FIFO: first in – first out).

Basic AMAN workstation software functions are as follows:

  • arrival situation monitoring and in-trail separation regulations violation identification on the runway threshold and in the airport airspace;

  • “manual” aircraft management;

  • automatic aircraft arrival sequence management;

  • automated aircraft flow management;

  • air traffic controller assistance in arriving aircraft flow management.

Currently research is underway in the following areas:

  • airport capacity evaluation;

  • airspace structure efficiency assessment and searching for ways of its improvement;

  • aircraft arrival management efficiency assessment for different control schemes.

DMAN (Departure management) workstation - allows to simulate departure controller operations and to generate data on regulatory actions for air traffic controllers.

DMAN workstation software simulates the process of aircraft departure scheduling by a planning controller. DMAN workstation is intended for air traffic study in the ATM “bottleneck” – in the airport area and on the airfield itself.

DMAN workstation planning controller operation simulation consists in departing aircraft flow scheduling simulation: based on actual planning data possible separation regulations violations during runway takeoff and in the airport area are predicted, manually or automatically regulation decisions are worked out (flight plan change) and proposed management decisions are coordinated with a lineup controller; and after successful coordination this information is forwarded to the central planning system for this aircraft flight plan updating.

The proposed technology for the most part complies with current foreign solutions. For some years major airports (e.g. in Paris) use decision making support software for departing aircraft flow management.

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DMAN workstation user interface (“DMAN” software tool).

The proposed DMAN simulator features the automatic optimization procedure that allows to obtain conflict-free variants of departing aircraft flows in the automatic mode while using optimization problem solution algorithms, allowing to find solutions more close to the global optimum as compared to techniques used in the majority of similar foreign systems (e.g. FIFO: first in – first out).

Basic DMAN workstation software functions are as follows:

  • departure situation monitoring and in-trail separation regulations violation identification on the runway threshold and in the airport airspace;

  • “manual” aircraft management;

  • automatic aircraft departure sequence management;

  • automated aircraft flow control;

  • air traffic controller assistance in departing aircraft flow management.

CFMU (Central Flow Management Unit) simulator, ATFM (air traffic flow management) controller workstation - simulates the central planning unit which is the analogue of RF UATMS (Unified ATM System) Main Air Traffic Management Center and Eurocontrol CFMU.

Hardware/software system simulates centralized air traffic planning processes and the interaction with other interested parties of air traffic control and planning process.

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ATFM (air traffic flow management) controller workstation user interface (“Air traffic load analysis” software tool).

The central planning system (CPS) is designed to simulate two basic functions of the central planning:

  • airspace use monitoring and immediate intervention if a problem is revealed (air traffic flow measurement by departure slot assignment);

  • the provision of actual planning information to all airspace users.

The automated simulation of the planning center features the simulation of both automatic calculations and planning controller functions on a dedicated workstation.

The automated simulation of the planning center features the simulation of both automatic calculations and planning controller functions on a dedicated workstation ATFM controller workstation software includes intelligent controller monitoring and decision making support tools as well as information tools supporting the interaction with other airspace users.

Automated ATC system simulation model is designed for aircraft on-line monitoring and control in the simulated airspace. It simulates respective RC, approach and airfield controller operations throughout the simulated airspace.

Automated ATC system simulation model provides the controller-controlled aircraft flow simulation within IATCSHILS.

The automated ATC system simulation model imitates the functional interaction between ATC system and an aircraft. The model simulates ATC system control of the aircraft as a whole, providing aircraft control at all stages of its movement from one terminal ramp to the other. The model does not simulate the work of individual controllers (or controller workstations). Main model operations are as follows:

  • Aircraft departure management operations:

    • departing aircraft flow management (runway, standard instrument departure (SID) route and departure time assignment);

    • lineup controller operation;

    • takeoff monitoring (prediction and identification of dangerous approach);

    • flight control of SID route (prediction and identification of dangerous approach);

  • En-route control operations:

    • en-route aircraft flight control (short-term detection of dangerous approach, identification of violations that have already taken place);

    • aircraft control by operator during cruise flight level change;

  • Aircraft arrival management operations:

    • arriving aircraft control by RC controllers (air path exit flyover time assignment, assignment to fly around airfield circuit at the edge of aerodrome traffic zone, standard terminal arrival route (STAR) change, STAR change with runway retaining or changing);

    • STAR route aircraft flight monitoring;

    • landing monitoring.

Aircraft movement model - flight and airfield surface movement modeling.

Aircraft model describes a specific aircraft flight. The purpose of each controlled flight consists in fulfilling a daily flight plan by a chosen aircraft of the aircraft flow.

The following aircrew activity and airborne navigation and stabilization system functions are simulated:

  • in-flight interaction with controllers;

  • planned flight trajectory calculation and updating in accordance with controller commands;

  • airborne navigation system commands for the stabilization system.

Aircrew error simulation.

Stabilization system performance simulation (command simulation dynamics; roll angle, longitudinal and vertical velocity limits).

Simulation of navigation errors related to airborne navigation system and its ground components operation, and stabilization system navigation accuracy.

Aircrew-controller voice communications failure or breakdown possibility is provided.

The controller-aircrew interaction during the controlled flight results in the generation of flight conditions change command in accordance with which a “route table” (a detailed description of programmed aircraft trajectory) is updated.

Aircrew-controller radio communication is simulated in the development modeling mode.

The model imitates the instrument flight. In addition, an airborne surveillance system can be used (as a component of all or several simulated aircraft) to provide aircrew situational awareness and self-separation capability.

Ground surveillance system model - models trajectory data (radar or ADS-B data) acquisition, processing and transfer to the system. The model also imitates meteorological measuring equipment operation.

Ground surveillance system and ground communication system (GSS) model imitates the operation of the ground surveillance system providing aircraft position data to the ATC system; operation of the meteorological observation system, providing data on dangerous weather conditions to the ATC system; and ground communications equipment providing aircraft-ATC controller communications.

Three basic functions of GSS:

  • current trajectory data assessment generation for all simulated aircraft;

  • current cloud map generation;

  • ground communications equipment position data generation.

Weather development model - imitates both the atmosphere state (wind force and direction) and adverse weather conditions (thunderstorm clouds).

Weather development model is designed for weather dynamics modeling. The software allows modeling the formation and disappearance of thunderstorm clouds of three types.

Three types of thunderstorm clouds are simulated: single-cell, multi-cell and super-cell clouds. 3D single-cell thunderstorm cloud model is presented in the form of inverted truncated elliptic paraboloid. High intensity zone is painted in red, medium intensity zone – in yellow, low intensity zone – in green.

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Single-cell thunderstorm cloud model.

A multi-cell thunderstorm cloud is modeled as a superposition of several (from 2 to 8) single-cell clouds. A “super-cell” type cloud is modeled as a single-cell thunder cloud with typical for “super-cell” size.

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Weather development model 3D single-cell thunderstorm cloud visualization.

Air model - models all types of signals (voice, digital messages) propagation through the air in real radio communications environment.

Air simulation model is designed for simulation of radio signal propagation through Earth atmosphere between different users, specifically, between an aircraft and ground communication stations. The air model takes account of:

  • physical layer characteristics and signal and noise propagation environment effects on communications network system features;

  • continuous mobile receiver/transmitter coordinate variation for real-time estimation of the power of receiver input signals transmitted over a common frequency channel to estimate each aircraft general electromagnetic environment.

The air model calculates for each aircraft:

  • total intrachannel interference from unwanted sources;

  • signal power, delay and Doppler frequency shift;

  • signal quality – signal-to-interference + noise ratio.

The model takes account of VDL-4 (video data link-4) communications for ADS-B messages and VDL-2 for controller-pilot messages (CPDLC messages).

“Airfield” simulator - simulates landing, taxiing and take-off processes. It allows imitating both individual aircraft and airfield surface surveillance and airfield surface movement control systems.

“Airfield” simulator is part of the IATCSHILS simulator and is designed for:

  • simulation of controlled aircraft and ground vehicle movement on the airfield surface;

  • techniques development for airfield surface movement control and coordination of actions between controllers responsible for different phases of flight and surface movement;

  • controller-pilot interaction problem analysis;

  • airborne surveillance and navigation applications development to improve pilot situational awareness.

The simulator consists of two basic components:

  • airdrome digital model;

Here the airdrome digital model is a set of data, describing structures and characteristics of the airdrome itself and of its equipment and facilities:

  • high-accuracy cartographic data;

  • data on status, operating rules and procedures, separation rules;

  • aircraft and ground vehicle data.

  • airfield controlled vehicle movement dynamic simulator.

The dynamic simulator consists of:

  • aircraft and ground vehicle movement models;

  • airdrome surveillance system model;

  • ground movement control workstation;

  • video surveillance system model;

  • “Virtual tower” 3-D visualization system.

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Airfield surface movement control workstation – user interface.

The airfield surface movement control workstation is a mock-up of an advanced surface movement guidance and control system workstation (A-SMGCS). The workstation can operate in the fully automatic, semi-automatic and fully manual modes. The tasks of the workstation are as follows:

  • display of simulated airfield map chart and vehicles on the airfield surface and in the airport area;

  • aircraft and ground vehicle optimum route assignment;

  • airfield surface potential conflict situation identification and resolution.

Aircraft and ground vehicle movement models are responsible for the imitation of vehicle movement on the airfield surface, and surveillance model imitates aircraft visibility in the airport area and on the airfield surface by airdrome surveillance equipment. It is supplemented by video surveillance model imitating the runway and adjacent territories surveillance by TV cameras and moving object identification in the indicated area.

“Virtual tower” 3-D visualization system consists of two parts:

  • “real” scene with weather effects;

  • synthetic scene (surveillance model and video surveillance data).

Airdrome video surveillance system model

Airdrome video surveillance system is designed to enhance aircrew and controller situational awareness of aircraft and ground vehicle movement in the airfield territory. The main task of the model is the analysis of video data from airfield territory surveillance cameras to detect all moving aircraft and vehicles including those which are not equipped with ADS-B sensors.

The model receives data from synthetic and real video and IR sensors. The received data is processed on the video surveillance server. Main video surveillance server functions are as follows:

  • detection and continuous multi-camera tracking of all moving objects in the airport territory;

  • detection of all emerging or disappearing objects on the airfield;

  • integration of synthesized multi-source (e.g. ADS-B sensors) state vector data with video analytics algorithms data.

Video data flow with marked detected aircraft and vehicles is transmitted to video surveillance controller workstation, and integrated detected object state vectors are transmitted in real time to the experiment management workstation (EMW), that forwards the data to the advanced aircraft cockpit simulator, to the ground surveillance system simulator and to other IATCSHILS components.

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Airdrome video surveillance controller workstation user interface.

 


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