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Remote monitoring of air traffic

DOI 10.18127/j00338486-201811-28


A.L. Gorbunov – Ph.D.(Eng.), Professor, Adviser of Rector Office, Moscow State Technical University of Civil Aviation
E.E. Nechaev – Dr.Sc.(Eng.), Professor, Head of Department of Air Traffic Control, Moscow State Technical University of Civil Aviation

Recently the Remote Air Traffic Management (RATM) became a popular topic in the aircraft industry because of two interconnected factors: the extension of airline networks and unprofitability of the air traffic control in small airports. Both SESAR Program in EU and NEXTGen Program in US highlight this issue as an important field for research. Special interest to this topic shown by Russian state air navigation service provider is related to the intensive trend towards small airports regeneration in Russia.
RATM starts with the remote monitoring of air traffic. This task includes three subtasks: 1) aircraft positioning at a remote airport, 2) positioning data transmission to the air traffic control center and 3) the visualization of the positioning data. The majority of today’s remote monitoring solutions imply video panorama-based approach with a set of video cameras at the remote airport. Such solutions have some essential drawbacks, including: dependence on weather/illuminance conditions; the realization requires expensive high capacity and high reliability data transmission lines between the remote airport and the air traffic control center. The comparative analysis allows to define the following technology combination as a most perspective for the remote monitoring of air traffic: subtask 1 – automatic dependent surveillance (ADS), it provides small amount of positioning data, which, in its turn, allows the workable use of satellite channels; subtask 2 – the satellite communication channel; subtask 3 – virtual or augmented reality.
The prototype has been created to research such a combination. The differences from the end user’s version are: 1) Internet instead of the satellite channel, 2) a public aggregator instead of the allotted ADS source. Immersive virtual reality is used in the prototype; in the final version, the switch AR/VR will be provided. The visualization in AR/VR provides advantages, such as low cost, the visibility in any real weather conditions, the possibility to move the viewpoint, zooming, the compactness and mobility, the versatility and flexibility.
While developing the prototype the problem concerning the stabile ADS positioning has been discovered, since real ADS data feature incompleteness and inaccuracy simultaneously. The algorithm described in the paper allows to solve this problem by predicting the aircraft coordinates and the evaluation of the regularity for the positioning data stream.

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May 29, 2020

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