General Aviation Improved Navigation and Surveillance

GAINS’s Surveillance and Navigation Demonstrations aimed to show the wider aviation community how improvements being developed by SESAR can be adapted for use by General Aviation (GA), thereby enhancing GA operations without prohibitive cost or certification requirements.

Customer

Project co-funded by SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant No 783228.


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Context

GAINS's objectives were to validate, through live flying demonstrations, concepts enabled by Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) and EGNOS. These included a Surveillance Concept proposing an electronic conspicuity (EC) solution and a Navigation Concept proposing instrument flight procedure elements to meet the needs of GA, including both fixed wing and rotorcraft.

GAINS's Surveillance and Navigation Demonstrations aimed to show the wider aviation community how improvements being developed by SESAR can be adapted to the respective Concepts, thereby enhancing GA operations without prohibitive cost or certification requirements.

Role of Helios

Helios set up and coordinated the consortium that delivered the project. The consortium included representatives from the general aviation (GA) community AOPA UK, as well as Pildo Labs, Funke Avionics and Trig Avionics.

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The project was split into six work packages:

WP1: Project management and communications

Helios developed a Project Management Plan, a Project Communication Plan and a Project Data Management Plan to set the guidelines to be followed during the project, and kept an up to date register of tasks progress and of risks, ensuring that mitigation measures were applied whenever necessary. This involved close coordination of all six work packages. Helios was also responsible for the Project review and reporting, including communication and dissemination activities that reached a target audience of more than 41,000 people.

WP2: Regulatory and CONOPS review

Helios contributed to the development of GAINS's surveillance and navigation concepts of operation, as well as to the review of the regulatory framework related to these concepts, liaising as required with regulatory stakeholders during the demonstrations preparation and planning of demonstrations.

WP3: Surveillance – Aerodrome and Aircraft Equipment

This task was led by f.u.n.k.e. Avionics and involved the development of the ground ADS-B display equipment and the provision of airborne ADS-B transceiver to be used in the surveillance demonstrations.

WP4: Surveillance Solutions – Aerodrome operations assisted by ADS-B

The fourth work package was led by AOPA-UK and covered all the tasks related to the surveillance demonstrations including demonstrations planning, liaison with aerodromes and volunteer pilots, data analysis and development of main conclusions and recommendations.

WP5: Navigation solutions – Very Large-Scale Demonstration

This work package was also led by AOPA-UK and covered all the tasks related to the navigation demonstrations: planning, liaison with aerodromes and volunteer pilots, data analysis and elaboration of main conclusions and recommendations. For this task, Pildo Labs developed eight advanced PBN instrument approach procedures to be flown during the demonstrations.

WP6: Technical Advisory Committee

Helios managed the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), which was established to maximise the benefit of the demonstrations by incorporating expert inputs and recommendations to the surveillance and navigation demonstrations. TAC participants included experts from NATS (UK ANSP), DFS (German ANSP), DGAC (French Civil Aviation Authority), EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) and UK-CAA (UK Civil Aviation Authority).

Results

The project kicked off in January 2018 and was completed within 24 months. For the surveillance demonstrations a total of 42 pilots in 27 fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft completed 43 flight hours in the visual circuit testing EC with cockpit displays within a 100% equipped environment.

For the navigation demonstrations a total of 29 pilots in 22 aircraft flew 357 approach operations on eight advanced PBN instrument approach procedures incorporating a mix of steep approaches and varying diameter RF legs with LPV and ILS final approaches.

GAINS' results have demonstrated that there are clear benefits to GA operations from adapting SESAR solutions that contribute to improved integration of GA in today's challenging airspace:

EC improves traffic situational awareness for both pilots and ground ATS staff.

RNP to xLS can be flown by a wide range of GA aircraft and pilots with acceptable track-keeping performance.

GAINS has shared its results with ANSPs, regulators and EASA. The project was also awarded 3rd Prize in the ATM Awards 2019, in the Research & Innovation category.


Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein reflect the author's view only. Under no circumstances shall the SESAR Joint Undertaking be responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein. This project has received funding from the SESAR Joint Undertaking under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 783228.

To find out more about this project please contact Philip Church or Andreia Simoes.
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