On 7 June 2016 took place at the School of Engineering (ETSI) of the University of Seville the Kick-Off meeting of the project entitled “Meteorological Uncertainty Management for Trajectory Based Operations (TBO-Met)”. This project has received funding from the SESAR Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 699294 under European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The project corresponds to the research topic “Environment & Meteorology for ATM”, which is part of the research area “ATM Excellent Science & Outreach” of the SESAR 2020 Exploratory Research programme (call H2020-SESAR-2015-1).

TBO-Met is coordinated by the University of Seville (Spain) and the rest of the consortium is formed by the following members: University Carlos III of Madrid (Spain), University of Salzburg (Austria), MeteoSolutions GmbH (Darmstadt, Germany) and the Spanish meteorological agency  AEMET (Agencia Estatal de Meteorología). The coordinator of the project is Prof. Damián Rivas (drivas@us.es), director of the Group of Aerospace Engineering of ETSI.

In this project we address the problem of analysing and quantifying the effects of meteorological uncertainties in Trajectory Based Operations. In particular, two problems are considered: 1) trajectory planning under meteorological uncertainties and 2) sector demand analysis under meteorological uncertainties, which correspond to two different scales: trajectory (micro) scale and sector (meso) scale. In each problem two types of meteorological uncertainties are considered: wind uncertainty and convective zones. Weather predictions will be based on Ensemble Probabilistic Forecasts and Nowcasts.

At the trajectory scale, the main objective is to assess and improve the predictability of efficient 4D trajectories when weather uncertainty is taken into account, both at the pre-tactical level (up to three hours before departure) and at the tactical level (during the flight). To reach this goal, a methodology based on the use of stochastic trajectory optimization will be used.

At the sector scale, the main objective is to analyse the impact of trajectory planning under weather uncertainty (as performed at the trajectory scale) on sector demand. To achieve this objective, a methodology will be developed to measure the uncertainty of sector demand (probabilistic sector loading), based on the uncertainty of the individual trajectories. This analysis will also provide an understanding of how weather uncertainty is propagated from the trajectory scale to the sector scale (this problem of uncertainty propagation between different scales of the system has been identified as one of the main research challenges in the understanding of the effects of meteorological uncertainty in the ATM system, see http://complexworld.eu/wiki/ComplexWorld_Wiki).

The expected outcome of the project is two-fold: 1) to enhance our understanding of the impact of meteorological uncertainty in TBO, and 2) to develop methodologies to quantify the impact of meteorological uncertainty in TBO. The methodologies will be validated using advanced air traffic simulation facilities.

To help in achieving the project objectives, a survey among the stakeholders involved (airlines, ANSPs and Network Manager) is to be performed. The main result of the survey will be a first-hand expert description of current practice and future expectations. It will serve as a valuable reference to align the project activities.

This project is fully aligned with the objectives of the SESAR 2020  Exploratory Research programme, in particular the following ones related to the “Meteorology” topic: “to enhance meteorological capabilities and their integration into ATM planning processes for improving ATM efficiency” and “to develop 4D trajectories that are optimised to take account of all environmental considerations”, and where the following impact is expected: “to enhance ATM efficiency by integrating meteorological information”.

As part of the dissemination activities, the 1st “Meteorological Uncertainty and ATM” workshop will be organized in Madrid on 24-25 November 2016 (for more details contact drivas@us.es).