To date, the management of different types of air traffic information has evolved independently, based on sub-system and service specific requirements. As a result of this bottom-up approach, today's ATM (Air Traffic Management) information systems are insufficiently integrated, resulting in organisational and institutional barriers which prevent timely use of relevant information.
Although several initiatives have been launched with the aim of studying the interoperability solutions, none of these projects identifies the characteristics of the infrastructure required to make interoperability possible.
Although the importance of introducing a System-Wide Information Management (SWIM) capability-facilitating co-operation among stakeholders is now generally recognised, there is still no clear indication as to how to implement this capability and, in particular, which technologies would enable its successful operation. As a consequence, there is a need to identify different options and demonstrate the feasibility of realising SWIM in all its aspects.
The SWIM-SUIT project aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of initial system-wide information management functionality for the Air Transport System.
It targeted the following objectives:
- specification of the requirements for the SWIM implementation
- design and development of a SWIM test platform (SWIM prototype) supporting the evaluation of the SWIM concepts
- evaluation of the technologies identified as enablers of the SWIM concept by means of a test campaign performed on the developed test bed
- assessment of the organisational, legal and financial implications, including an analysis of the possible impact they may have on the SWIM implementation and, thus, to the associated enabling technologies.
SWIM-SUIT aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of initial system-wide information management functionality for the air transport system.
Starting from the preliminary results of the SESAR definition phase, the project firstly specified the requirements of ATM information management, exploiting the expertise derived from the large participation of users in the project.
Secondly a tailoring of the requirements was done to define the context of the SWIM-SUIT prototype. Then a SWIM-SUIT prototype was specified, designed, developed and tested, based on several existing user applications connected to the test bed, such as ACC/APP centres, airport CDM (collaborative decision-making), airline operating centres, CFMU (central flow management unit) and flight simulators.
Finally two evaluation sessions were performed in order to evaluate the potential benefits of SWIM's functionality, and to identify different options and SWIM's overall consequences and implications.
The development of a SWIM prototype was considered a key task of the SWIM-SUIT project. It was the objective to provide measurable indicators relevant to the technologies enabling the implementation of the SWIM concept. It has a multi-site structure, covering several ATM domains and integrating different legacy applications.
The technical work structure was organised as follows:
- WP1: information management users' requirements, which aims to identify the set of user requirements for both SWIM and its prototype
- WP2: SWIM design, development and testing, which aims at producing a SWIM prototype and represents the core design and implementation activity
- WP3: test-bed integration and testing, which aims at the adaptation of the existing legacy applications to be used in the test bed for the evaluation
- WP 4: technical evaluation, which includes all activities required for the technical evaluation of the selected solution(s) from WP2, using the test bed developed in WP2 and integrated with the legacy applications (WP3)
- WP5: financial and institutional, which aims to perform the cost benefit analysis of the selected technical solutions based on the SWIM concept.
Although the SWIM concept was expected to represent the basis upon which the future interoperable ATM systems will be built, there are still enormous uncertainties over its actual technological implementation. SWIM-SUIT predominantly contributed to this need for technological assessment by developing a SWIM prototype, which will provide the basis for assessment of the technological solutions adopted. The significant involvement of users also ensured that the requirements for SWIM implementation were identified and legal and financial implications were assessed.