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SEAC to perform SESAR automated guidance validation exercise at Frankfurt Airport

June 27, 2013 Airport No Comments Email Email

Frankfurt SEAC (SESAR European Airports Consortium) and its partners – ENAV, DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung, Flightdecksystems, and ATRiCS – have confirmed dates for performing the SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research program) real-time validation exercise EXE VP-649 on automatic guidance via Airfield Ground Lighting (AGL) at Frankfurt Airport (FRA). The validation will be performed from June 24 to 28, 2013 in Fraport AG’s building 453 in CargoCity North at FRA.

20130622-0346_oThis validation exercise is the first-ever to deal with a ground-based guidance solution on the airport level in the context of SESAR. The flight crews will be guided along their paths by following moving segments of activated green lights on the taxiways.

The SESAR Airfield Ground Lighting Simulator (SASIM), a real-time simulation platform exclusively designed and contractually dedicated to the use in the SESAR context only, will be the basis for the evaluation of the new technology. The platform was erected in partnership with Flightdecksystems and ATRiCS, 2 highly-recognized and innovative German enterprises specializing in realistic aircraft simulators and airport IT and infrastructural solutions, respectively.

The platform comprises two A320-family cockpit simulators and 2 apron control working positions along with systems providing the 3D outside views from cockpit and apron control as well as a realistic real-time traffic situation on the airport surface. The exercise will be 2 performed with expected future traffic of 114 movements per hour under all conditions, including low-visibility at night time.

The goal of the exercise is to demonstrate general advantages of the new SESAR-method compared to existing operating methods, from the pilot’s point of view. It will primarily focus on:

– ideal parameter values for automated guidance via AGL
– new low-visibility procedures

The project partners expect to be able to identify the optimal parameter settings for AGL in a highly complex and heavy utilized airport environment such as FRA. Furthermore, the validation will aim to prove the advantages of a new low-visibility procedure called “floating separation.” It is expected to significantly lower the impact of adverse conditions on taxi performance compared to contemporary procedures.

The Italian and German air navigation service providers (ENAV and DFS) gave valuable input to the definition of the exercise, including validation objectives, scenarios and expected benefits. The 2 organizations will continue to assist SEAC in the execution and analysis phase of the exercise.

Established in 2009, SEAC (SESAR European Airports Consortium) comprises the operators of 6 major European airports – Aeroports de Paris, Flughafen Munchen GmbH, Flughafen Zurich AG, Fraport AG Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide, Heathrow Airport Ltd., and Schiphol Nederland B.V. – who are working together within the SESAR Joint Undertaking (Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking) to achieve the goals of a more efficient and sustainable Single European Sky. The SEAC members operate 6 of the 10 busiest airports in Europe. Even today, most of these airports are already operating close to their respective capacity limits and, in the event of disruptions, have the greatest impact on the European air traffic network. SEAC airports apply their specific know-how and many years of experience in airport management to the SESAR program.

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