ALICIA directly addressed the Vision 2020 goal of improved time efficiency in the air transportation system by developing new cockpit systems that could deliver significantly more aircraft movements than are possible at present day.
The aim within ALICIA was to develop new systems which will permit aircraft to operate in almost all weather conditions and to fly closer together at lower risk, whilst simultaneously decreasing air transport delays.
ALICIA has coupled the latest thinking in air traffic management (SESAR) with new cockpit concepts capable of providing improved mission performance, whilst also enhancing situation awareness.
The first of the two key areas of technological advance will be an All Conditions Operations (ACO) system capable of delivering robust worldwide operations capability, allowing aircraft to use airports with less capable ground based approach aids, in a wider range of degraded flight conditions. The second key area of technological advance will be a new cockpit architecture facilitating the introduction of new cockpit technologies and applications capable of decreasing crew workload whilst enhancing safety and improving crew situational awareness.
The rationale for the new cockpit architecture is borne of the certainty that within the next decade the cockpit design will be stressed by the introduction of a series of new concepts, such as ACO and those being developed within the SESAR programme.
ALICIA addressed the ACARE objective of increasing time efficiency within the future air transport system. The aim was to deliver extensible applications that could be applied to many aircraft types. This would entail a new cockpit infrastructure capable of delivering enhanced situation awareness to the crew, whilst simultaneously reducing crew workload and improving overall aircraft safety. The two overarching project objectives were:
- Development of an ACO capability to reduce weather-related delays by 20%:
- Delivering a robust worldwide operations capability, allowing aircraft to use airports with less capable ground based approach aids, in a wider range of degraded flight conditions;
- Delivering more autonomous aircraft operation, including anticipation and avoidance of weather disturbances and other possible perturbations in flight or on the ground;
- Delivering improved punctuality, while simultaneously enhancing safety.
2. Development of a new cockpit architecture facilitating the introduction of new technologies and applications:
- Delivering a competitive, scalable core cockpit architecture applicable to all aircraft types;
- Delivering seamless integration of innovative avionics technologies and new applications, such as All Conditions Operations to respond to the new challenges of aircraft operation;
- Delivering the architecture to enable the next step towards single crew operation.
The ALICIA programme provided an opportunity for many key stakeholders in Europe to work together towards a new approach in cockpit design.
The application focus within the project was All Conditions Operations, because the technology integration implicit in the implementation of this system would challenge the cockpit design. However, All Conditions Operations is just one element of a diverse range of new systems that will arrive in the next generation cockpit and the cockpit architecture must be flexible enough to support this. Accordingly, within ALICIA, new core concepts applicable to all new flight-decks will be defined that facilitate the efficient introduction of a broad and expanding range of operational requirements, whilst achieving the lowest through life cost.
The utility and scalability of the new concept will be demonstrated using simulation/synthetic environments and bench testing to illustrate the feasibility of highly integrated on-board functions performing:
- Strategic Surveillance of the Aircraft Environment;
- Enhanced Navigation;
- Robust Worldwide Operations in Demanding Flight Conditions.
The ALICIA activities were performed within a structure covering the following six technical areas:
- Requirements Capture;
- Concept Generation;
- Technology Selection/Refinement;
- Application Development;
- Evaluation in Cockpit Simulators;
- Dissemination and Exploitation.
Final Report Summary - ALICIA (All Condition Operations and Innovative Cockpit Infrastructure)
Executive Summary:ALICIA has addressed the challenge of improving time efficiency whilst maintaining safety by developing an All Condition Operations capability for the civil air transport system comprising:
- An Approach Operation Support subsystem to support the approach...
ALICIA has addressed the challenge of improving time efficiency whilst maintaining safety by developing an All Condition Operations capability for the civil air transport system comprising:
- An Approach Operation Support subsystem to support the approach and landing of aircraft in adverse weather conditions.
- A Taxi Operation Support subsystem to provide pilots with a reliable means to navigate on the aerodrome surface and to identify obstacles on the runway in low visibility conditions.
- An Atmospheric Awareness Support Subsystem to provide the aircrew with a complete and accurate understanding of both the local atmospheric situation and any atmospheric hazards along the flight trajectory.
- A Correlated Surveillance Support Subsystem to provide aircrew operating rotorcraft with extended surveillance capabilities for low altitude operations.
- A Conflict Detection and Resolution module providing prototype algorithms to analyse the impact of airborne traffic and weather on the selected flight route, but moreover establish flight path mitigation strategies to resolve/avoid threat conditions.
ALICIA has performed extensive research into the design approach for future cockpit layouts targeting crew system interfacing (HMI) and cockpit display architectures. The emergence of demanding new flight deck applications to support future operational requirements presents factors likely to constrain the effectiveness of integration using conventional approaches to cockpit layout.
A summary of the key innovations of the research into future cockpit layouts is presented below:
- Integration of innovative avionics technologies and new applications such as those supporting All Condition Operations to respond to the future challenges of aircraft operations.
- Improved methods of operating and managing aircraft systems.
- Competitive and scalable core cockpit architectures applicable to multiple aircraft types; fixed wing and rotorcraft.
The principal outputs of the ALICIA work were illustrated using four separate system concept demonstrator test beds within an integrated test and evaluation activity:
i). A rotorcraft full system integrated cockpit simulator test bed designed to evaluate the ALICIA output in the context of a rotorcraft implementation.
ii). A fixed wing full system integrated cockpit simulator test bed designed to evaluate the ALICIA output in the context of a fixed wing aircraft implementation.
iii). A taxi operation precise positioning test bed designed to evaluate the improvement of the real-time localisation on ground (both accuracy and integrity).
iv). A taxi operation improved vision system test bed designed to evaluate specific technologies for degraded visual conditions.
List of Websites:
The official project website: www.alicia-project.eu