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Deriving Support Functions for Radar Approach Controllers Confronted with Mixed Manned and Unmanned Air Traffic

Finke, Michael and Jauer, Malte-Levin and Muth, Kathleen (2018) Deriving Support Functions for Radar Approach Controllers Confronted with Mixed Manned and Unmanned Air Traffic. Deutscher Luft- und Raunfahrtkongress 2018, 04.-06. Sept. 2018, Friedrichshafen.

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Abstract

The introduction of remotely piloted aircraft is expected to revolutionize commercial air transport. This new technology promises an increase in efficiency and flexibility as well as cost benefits for aircraft operators. One use case which is likely to come up in the next years is unmanned air transport with remotely piloted widebody freighter aircraft in analogy to present flights of cargo airlines, operating from large hub airports. For safety reasons, remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) of this size will need to comply with the existing air traffic management standards and procedures when conducting such flights, including their arrival phase. A number of different concepts addressing the challenges that come along with the integration of RPAS into the air traffic have already been investigated in the past. However, it has not yet been decided by national, European or international authorities and organizations which concept will be applied in which case. Most of these concepts are very specific to the airspace environment, the RPAS category and the purpose of the flight. As a consequence, no detailed commonly applicable standards are currently available. In the frame of the DLR internal project "Unmanned Freight Operations", different support functions for air traffic control (ATC) were developed. This set of support functions shall ease the transition to a mixed manned and unmanned traffic independent from a distinct integration concept. One guiding principle was to use simple and versatile tools which can easily be implemented within the next years while keeping the impact on manned aviation at a minimum. One example is the direct download of information from the remotely piloted aircraft to air traffic control and visualization on the controller’s radar screen, which shall make the manoeuvers and behavior of this aircraft predictable and plannable and which can serve as basis for RPAS specific monitoring functions. In order to verify this set of tools, several ATC simulations were conducted in autumn of 2017 using DLR's radar simulator ATMOS in Braunschweig. Simulation scenarios confronted the air traffic controllers with typical features of RPAS movements or constraints from different integration concepts. A comparison was made between a 'baseline' simulation using standard controller working position equipment and a 'solution' simulation using a modified controller working position including new supporting tools. Active air traffic controllers from the German Air Navigation Service Provider DFS as well as internal ATC experts attended the simulation campaign. The trials showed that the new tools decreased controller workload and significantly improved their situational awareness. In addition, positive qualitative feedback was collected showing that the approach taken is a logical step towards a first-and-easy integration of RPAS flights in a terminal control area of a hub airport. This paper gives basic information about developed support functions, describes the conducted trials, illustrates obtained results and provides a discussion and an outlook.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/121622/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Deriving Support Functions for Radar Approach Controllers Confronted with Mixed Manned and Unmanned Air Traffic
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Finke, Michaelmichael.finke (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Jauer, Malte-LevinMalte-Levin.Jauer (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Muth, KathleenKathleen.Muth (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:2018
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Status:Published
Keywords:UFO, Unmanned Aircraft, Airport, Approach, Integration, Air Traffic Control, Controller Assistance Tools
Event Title:Deutscher Luft- und Raunfahrtkongress 2018
Event Location:Friedrichshafen
Event Type:national Conference
Event Dates:04.-06. Sept. 2018
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Aeronautics
HGF - Program Themes:air traffic management and operations
DLR - Research area:Aeronautics
DLR - Program:L AO - Air Traffic Management and Operation
DLR - Research theme (Project):L - Air Traffic Concepts and Operation
Location: Braunschweig
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Flight Control > Controller Assistance
Deposited By: Finke, Michael
Deposited On:05 Nov 2018 11:40
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:19

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