Harmonisation: What efforts are being made to support SESAR and NextGen harmonisation goals?

SayedianEd Sayadian, ITT Exelis: ITT Exelis has been heavily involved in the harmonisation of future communications technologies and standards. During the past seven years, ITT Exelis has performed multiple phases of technology assessment, systems engineering and testing for future C-band and L-band Air to Ground (A/G) communications systems to be used for air traffic control.

This work has been a joint effort between the FAA and Eurocontrol under cooperative research Action Plans 17 and 30, also known as the Future Communications Study (FCS). The study was initiated in anticipation of the increased demand for data communications coming from both FAA NextGen and European Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) programmes. This includes ongoing cooperative standards development support via RTCA SC-223/EUROCAE WG-82 and ICAO Aeronautical Communications Panel WG-S for the Aeronautical Mobile Aircraft Communications System (AeroMACS), as well as continued support of L-band Digital Aviation Communications System (LDACS) technical and standards development activities conducted by EUROCONTROL for SESAR.

Sandy Samuel, Lockheed Martin: We are an Associate Member of the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU), through sponsorship with Indra Sistemas, working key tasks that promote SESAR – NextGen harmonisation.  Most recently, the Indra-LM team was awarded a contract by the SJU to develop a validation test bed and conduct operational trials with flights across the Atlantic Ocean that would demonstrate the benefits of SESAR and NextGen technology harmonisation. The test bed will include new systems that shadow the operational systems and allow flight data to be exchanged in real time, providing enhanced situational awareness for real time decision-making, while demonstrating the interoperability of the US and European system, using SWIM technology.  We continue to support both the FAA and the SJU, and other ANSPs around the world, to ensure global harmonisation.

Alan BloodgoodAlan Bloodgood, Metron Aviation: Metron Aviation is supporting the harmonisation of air traffic management around the globe with many solutions, including procedures that will measurably increase efficiencies and improve the predictability of traffic flows. Additionally, we are partnering with SESAR and NextGen customers to improve airspace traffic flows as well as traffic flow on the ground.  In support of this, we have developed new and innovative ways to apply state of the art forms of weather information to considerably improve the consistency of weather forecasts, all of which are designed to mitigate the impacts of weather on air traffic.  We are also working on harmonisation of environmental-benefit analysis as practised in NextGen and SESAR.  This currently involves comparison of metrics, modeling techniques and extrapolation of exercise data to system-wide benefits.

Ken Kaminski, Saab Sensis: As a result of our global perspective and footprint, we are actively involved with both SESAR and NextGen programmes, such as Remote Tower concept validation under SESAR and a number of advanced airport surface capabilities for NextGen. We are well positioned to leverage what we learn and develop from one programme to the other.

Bobby Sturgell, Rockwell Collins: Rockwell Collins is a participant through the NextGen Institute on the ICAO Aviation System Block Upgrade initiative and the planned revision of the Global Air Navigation Plan.  This activity recognises the role of the aircraft in the global operational environment and brings global operational initiatives together. Not only does this initiative help NextGen and SESAR establish key performance areas and identify a common set of benefits, it establishes harmonised blocks in time sequenced blocks that ensure a coordinated fielding of new functions and capabilities in the global environment. We’re a member of the Technical Team to ensure all aircraft domains (e.g. general aviation, business aircraft, regional aircraft, air transport, and military aircraft) are represented in the solution set.

Neil PlanzerNeil Planzer, Boeing: Boeing is involved in many key SESAR and SE-2020/ FAA programmes in Europe and the US. This involvement is critical to our customers who operate globally. Through this involvement, we can ensure the development of global standards and the seamless integration of systems and procedures (interoperability). Airbridge is a classic example of Boeing’s leadership in developing integrated programmes between SESAR and NexGen.

Fred Messina, Booz Allen Hamilton: Serving in a technical assistance role to the NextGen Joint Planning and Development Office (JPDO), Booz Allen assisted with the identification and alignment of global harmonisation activities to each of the 46 ICAO Aviation System Block Upgrades modules. Additionally, Booz Allen supported alignment of SESAR-NextGen Operational Improvement Steps to each other and to ICAO Key Performance Areas, and Global Performance Initiatives through the SESAR Joint Undertaking initiative. Since 2011, Booz Allen has also supported FAA’s National Airspace System (NAS) Chief Architect with the harmonisation of the NextGen Enterprise Architecture with that of SESAR.

Steve Fulton, GE Aviation: GE Aviation participates in both NextGen and SESAR demonstrations and trials.  Additionally, subject-matter experts from GE Aviation participate in industry forums and standards-setting groups that are dealing with the issues of FAA-SESAR harmonisation.

Brian DavisBrian Davis, Honeywell Aerospace: SESAR and NextGen have significant overlaps in the operational improvements on which they are focusing. Honeywell has dedicated engineers assigned in the US and Europe to participate on teams that are actively working together to ensure that improvements are coordinated between both programmes and the differences kept to a minimum.

For both initiatives we play a key role on the advisory boards charged with consulting on the most cost-effective results-driven ways of deploying technology to keep air traffic moving around the globe in a closely aligned and coherent way. We are the only non-EU headquartered company to be invited to join the SESAR programme and this means we are particularly well placed to share learnings and recommendations on both sides of the Atlantic to help NextGen and SESAR synchronise their ATM modernisation efforts.

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