The ASAS-TN2 (Airborne Separation Assistance Systems Thematic Network 2) built on the experience of the ASAS Thematic Network project (ASAS-TN). The ASAS-TN was a two-year project (December 2002 - November 2004) that was primarily a communication activity and that was sponsored by the European Commission (DG Research).
The ASAS Thematic Network 2 was a Co-ordination Action organised within European Commission 6th Framework Programme on 'Aeronautics and Space'. The project is an Open Upstream Research activity for new generation ATM supported by Advanced Airborne System Applications.
The main objective of the ASAS Thematic Network 2 was to accelerate the application of ASAS/ADS-B operations in the European Airspace taking into account global applicability in order to increase airspace capacity and safety.
The main ASAS Thematic Network 2 outputs consist in the sharing of the current knowledge on ASAS/ADS-B between all European stakeholders and in recommendations for future activities required to reach the operational use of ASAS applications. It is expected that these results will be of use to guide European actions.
The expectation is also that the shared knowledge and the agreed upon recommendations will be fed inter alia into the European ATM Master plan and allow European industry to optimally plan and focus their new products development strategy.
The ASAS TN2 is a communication project, 6 events (5 workshops & a final seminar) to provide valuable opportunities for the participants to exchange up to date information through discussions on ASAS/ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast) applications in a structured and focussed way, the reports produced after each workshop capture and document the essence of the discussions held, so as to make it available to a wider audience and also allow tracking of ASAS/ADS-B development. The reports are actually the key deliverables from the workshops.
The ASAS Thematic Network has fulfilled its objective to accelerate the introduction of ASAS/ADS-B operations and has already seen many of its previous recommendations successfully achieved. For example :
- The extensive sharing of information between delegates and organisations has stimulated the development of ASAS applications, has furthered understanding, has helped to find opportunities for implementation, and has aided global harmonisation.
- This global activity has significantly advanced the maturity of the ASAS applications.
- Both the SESAR and NextGen Master Plans have included the development and implementation of ASAS.
- There are four ADS-B/ASAS applications in operational use: ADS-B NRA in Australia; M&S, CAVS and ATSA-SURF in the USA. The first European applications are expected soon.
- Both Airbus and Boeing now explicitly include ASAS functionality in their plans.
Outside Europe important developments were taking place to advance the implementation and understanding of ADS-B and ASAS. Within Europe action needed to be strengthened to ensure that future developments and implementations advance in step. It was therefore recommended that:
- both EUROCONTROL and the FAA actively build on the commonalities in the SESAR and NextGen roadmaps. Therefore the EUROCONTROL/FAA R&D Action Plan 23 (Future Uses of ADS-B and ASAS) should be strongly supported.
- noting that considerable development work is required to enable future ASAS applications, and that this work needs to be defined in consultation with the ASAS community, the SESAR JU work
- programme must give appropriate emphasis to ASAS research in delivering the SESAR Target Concept.
- the fragmentation of the European ADS-B implementation plans be addressed at Single Sky
Strong near-term business drivers for ASAS included:
- ITP applications in Oceanic areas which have the potential to increase payload, to reduce fuel burn, and to reduce environmental emissions.
- ATSA-SURF application, on the airport surface, can increase safety by reducing the risk of runway incursions and can increase the efficiency of airport operations.
- ASPA-M&S application in the TMA (particularly when enabling CDAs) has been shown to reduce fuel burn, to reduce noise and environmental emissions, and increase airport throughput.
Given that the SESAR and NextGen plans included ASAS, the members of the ASAS Thematic Network were concerned that ICAO was not working with sufficient urgency on the procedures and standards for the use of ASAS. It was therefore recommended:
- That the SESAR JU and NextGen agree an early joint approach to ICAO on the use of ASAS in order that ICAO gives ASAS the necessary emphasis.
- That there is a pressing need for ICAO to start work on identifying appropriate international standards, for example:
- High level standards for ADS-B
- The work deriving requirements in support of early ADS-B and ASAS applications, done by the RFG, a Joint Sub-Group of RTCA SC-186 and EUROCAE Working Group 51 (ADS-B), should be considered by ICAO at the earliest opportunity.
Given the fact that there were some strong potential business drivers, but that it was difficult to find ways of starting suitable widespread implementations, there was a need to encourage both airlines and ANSPs to start trials and to coordinate local deployments which would lead to a harmonised system. It was therefore recommended that:
- CASCADE Programme and its CRISTAL activities, which are already having a positive impact on early deployment, should be continued, but strengthened through a cohesive European implementation plan.
- Incentives be identified to encourage pioneer stakeholders.
- EUROCONTROL should continue ASAS-TN type work and link it with the planned FAA ASAS communication activity.