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TRIMIS

FAST OPtimiser for continuous descent approaches

PROJECTS
Funding
European
European Union
Duration
-
Status
Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Other
Total project cost
€199 951
EU Contribution
€149 962
Project Acronym
FASTOP
STRIA Roadmaps
Vehicle design and manufacturing (VDM)
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues,
Environmental/Emissions aspects
Transport sectors
Passenger transport,
Freight transport

Overview

Call for proposal
SP1-JTI-CS-2012-01
Link to CORDIS
Objectives

In the conventional aircraft approach the aircraft receives clearance from Air Traffic Control to descent from the bottom level of the holding stack to a given altitude where it would fly level until intercepting the 3-degree glidepath to the runway. In this flight level segment, the aircraft requires additional engine power to maintain constant speed, resulting in an increase of fuel consumption and noise.

A new approach procedure called Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) has been developed and is becoming widespread. In CDA procedures the aircraft stays higher for longer and then descends continuously, avoiding level segments, to the intercept point of the 3-degree glidepath. The CDA approach reduces fuel consumption, CO2 and NOx emissions as well as noise levels.

To take full advantage of CDA approaches, the continuous descent paths can be optimised to decrease even more the fuel consumption and noise and pollutant emissions. This proposal addressed an onboard fast optimiser for continuous descent approaches which calculates descent profiles minimising the use of engine thrust and speed brakes while meeting ATC time requirements and maintaining airport landing capacity.

To ensure a successful development of the fast optimiser, the Fastop proposal had been written by a consortium with remarkable parties' skills that cover all the mathematical, programming and management needs required by the topic.

Funding

Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
European Commission
Type of funding
Public (EU)
Specific funding programme
JTI-CS - Joint Technology Initiatives - Clean Sky
Other Programme
JTI-CS-2012-1-SGO-03-017 Real time optimiser for continuous descent approaches

Results

Executive Summary

FASTOP is a research and development project funded by the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative (JTI). This framework was created by the European Commission for funding research projects in Europe with the contribution of private investment. Clean Sky aims...

Executive Summary:

FASTOP is a research and development project funded by the Clean Sky Joint Technology Initiative (JTI). This framework was created by the European Commission for funding research projects in Europe with the contribution of private investment. Clean Sky aims at contributing to aviation emissions (CO2 - carbon dioxide and NOx - nitrous oxides) and perceived noise reduction targets set by the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) for 2020.

FASTOP takes place inside the “Systems for Green Operations” (SGO) Integrated Technology Demonstrator (ITD) that is developing new mission and trajectory management systems.

Conventional aircraft approaches involve stepwise descents that are flown sequentially as longs as the aircraft crew receives clearances from the Air Traffic Control to descent to a lower flight level. At the final approach point, the aircraft is typically aligned with the extended runway centreline and intercepts the 3-degree glide path of the ILS that guides it to the landing runway threshold. In all level segments of this kind of descents, the aircraft requires additional engine power to maintain a constant altitude (even if decelerating), resulting in an increase of fuel consumption and noise overpopulated areas in the vicinity of the airport.

A new approach procedure called Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) has been developed and is becoming widespread in many airports. In CDA procedures the aircraft stays higher for longer since the descent is performed continuously, avoiding level segments. Ideally, a CDA starts at the Top of Descent point at the last cruise altitude up to the point to intercept the ILS glide path. Thus, CDA approaches reduce fuel consumption, CO2 and NOx emissions as well as noise levels.

A major drawback of CDA operations is the reduction of airport and/or Terminal Manoeuvring Area (TMA) capacity, since vertical separation strategies between conflicting aircraft become more complex for the ATC. In order to partially overcome this issue, ATC may issue time requirements to aircraft to meet certain waypoints (such as in the TMA entry, initial approach fix, final approach fix, etc.).

FASTOP addressed an onboard fast optimiser for CDA that calculates descent profiles minimising the use of engine thrust and speed brakes while meeting ATC time requirements. This optimisation process is launched each time the actual trajectory deviates from a certain error threshold from the intended one.

The project achieved to develop a near real time optimizer in C++ that uses the CONOPT non-linear programming solver. In few seconds, the optimizer is able to compute a new trajectory taking into account parameters like wind, real pressure, flight path angle dynamics, fuel flow, STARS approach and various types of aircraft models. The Optimizer was correctly integrated in the simulator of NLR in Amsterdam and flight test evaluations are foreseen in 2015.

Partners

Lead Organisation
Organisation
Gtd Sistemas De Informacion Sa
Address
PASEO GARCIA FARIA 17, 08005 BARCELONA, Spain
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€56 704
Partner Organisations
Organisation
Fundacio Privada Ascamm
Address
AVENIDA UNIVERSITAT AUTONOMA , PARC TECNOLOGIC DEL VALLES 23, 08290 CERDANYOLA DEL VALLES, Spain
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€2 697 113
Organisation
Fundacio Privada Ascamm
Address
AVENIDA UNIVERSITAT AUTONOMA , PARC TECNOLOGIC DEL VALLES 23, 08290 CERDANYOLA DEL VALLES, Spain
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€46 656
Organisation
Universitat Politecnica De Catalunya
Address
Calle Jordi Girona 31, 8034 Barcelona, Spain
Organisation website
EU Contribution
€46 602

Technologies

Technology Theme
Aircraft operations and safety
Technology
Optimization of air traffic operations for reduced environmental impacts
Development phase
Demonstration/prototyping/Pilot Production

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