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Autonomous and Air-Ground Cooperative Onboard Systems for Surface Movement Incident Prevention

Vernaleken, Christoph :
Autonomous and Air-Ground Cooperative Onboard Systems for Surface Movement Incident Prevention.
Aviatic Verlag, Oberhaching
[Ph.D. Thesis], (2011)

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Item Type: Ph.D. Thesis
Title: Autonomous and Air-Ground Cooperative Onboard Systems for Surface Movement Incident Prevention
Language: English
Abstract:

At airports sustaining commercial operations, Runway Incursions, defined as the incorrect presence or manoeuvre of an aircraft, vehicle or person on a runway, constitute the most severe hazard to flight safety. In fact, the worst-ever accident in civil aviation to date, the collision of two Boeing B747s on Tenerife in March 1977 with 583 fatalities, was caused by a Runway Incursion. As early as 1986, a special investigation report of the National Transportation Safety Boards (NTSB), which is responsible for investigating aviation incidents and accidents in the USA, concluded that Human Factors issues and not technical malfunctions were the primary causal factors of Runway Incursions. This is remarkable, because although surface movement is one of the most challenging cockpit tasks, pilots are currently not supported by sophisticated assistance systems in this critical phase of flight, but still mainly rely on visual acquisition of their environment and Air Traffic Control (ATC) instructions conveyed via radio. The only mandatory additional equipment consists of paper charts, compass and Notices to Airmen (NOTAM).

Consequently, the goal of this thesis is to investigate to what extent Runway Incursions can be attributed to an inadequate presentation or lack of required information on the flight deck, and how flight deck instrumentation will possibly have to be supplemented in order to increase safety in the airport environment. Following a scrutiny of current procedures for surface movement with respect to potential deficiencies, an in-depth analysis of 40 incidents and accidents is conducted to identify and categorize generic, recurring causal factors of Runway Incursions. Apart from several exceptions that can be attributed to incorrect ATC instructions or clearances, results clearly indicate that the investigated Runway Incursions were primarily caused by a lack of pilot situation awareness. The underlying reasons are a lack of suitable navigation aids, missing means of acquiring the surrounding traffic including potential conflicts, insufficient presentation of information on the airport operational environment (such as closed or restricted runways) or misunderstandings in the communication with ATC.

In order to address these deficiencies, a holistic flight deck visualisation and warning concept based on Airport Moving Map (AMM) technology, an already commercially available database-driven electronic airport chart presentation, is developed in the frame of this thesis, integrating all of the information required for Runway Incursion avoidance in an intuitive fashion. In case the mere presentation of information is not sufficient to prevent a hazardous situation, e.g. due to the dynamics of an emerging traffic conflict, pilots are alerted in a manner consistent with current flight deck alerting systems. A prototypic realisation of the resulting onboard surveillance system is validated with airline pilots in field trials at Frankfurt and Prague airport, using a Navigation Test Vehicle, followed by a further evaluation campaign employing a Research Flight Simulator.

Alternative Abstract:
Alternative AbstractLanguage
At airports sustaining commercial operations, Runway Incursions, defined as the incorrect presence or manoeuvre of an aircraft, vehicle or person on a runway, consti-tute the most severe hazard to flight safety. In fact, the worst-ever accident in civil aviation to date, the collision of two Boeing B747s on Tenerife in March 1977 with 583 fatalities, was caused by a Runway Incursion As early as 1986, a special investigation report of the National Transportation Safety Boards (NTSB), which is responsible for investigating aviation incidents and acci-dents in the USA, concluded that Human Factors issues and not technical malfunc-tions were the primary causal factors of Runway Incursions. This is remarkable, be-cause although surface movement is one of the most challenging cockpit tasks, pilots are currently not supported by sophisticated assistance systems in this critical phase of flight, but still mainly rely on visual acquisition of their environment and Air Traf-fic Control (ATC) instructions conveyed via radio. The only mandatory additional equipment consists of paper charts, compass and Notices to Airmen (NOTAM). Consequently, the goal of this thesis is to investigate to what extent Runway Incur-sions can be attributed to an inadequate presentation or lack of required information on the flight deck, and how flight deck instrumentation will possibly have to be sup-plemented in order to increase safety in the airport environment. Following a scrutiny of current procedures for surface movement with respect to po-tential deficiencies, an in-depth analysis of 40 incidents and accidents is conducted to identify and categorize generic, recurring causal factors of Runway Incursions. Apart from several exceptions that can be attributed to incorrect ATC instructions or clearances, results clearly indicate that the investigated Runway Incursions were primarily caused by a lack of pilot situation awareness. The underlying reasons are a lack of suitable navigation aids, missing means of acquiring the surrounding traffic including potential conflicts, insufficient presentation of information on the airport operational environment (such as closed or restricted runways) or misunderstand-ings in the communication with ATC. In order to address these deficiencies, a holistic flight deck visualisation and warning concept based on Airport Moving Map (AMM) technology, an already commercially available database-driven electronic airport chart presentation, is developed in the frame of this thesis, integrating all of the information required for Runway Incursion avoidance in an intuitive fashion. In case the mere presentation of information is not sufficient to prevent a hazardous situation, e.g. due to the dynamics of an emerging traffic conflict, pilots are alerted in a manner consistent with current flight deck alert-ing systems. A prototypic realisation of the resulting onboard surveillance system is validated with airline pilots in field trials at Frankfurt and Prague airport, using a Navigation Test Vehicle, followed by a further evaluation campaign employing a Research Flight Simulator.English
An Verkehrsflughäfen stellt die fälschliche Benutzung von Start- und Landebahnen, die man als „Runway Incursion“ bezeichnet, eines der gravierendsten Risiken für die Flugsicherheit dar. Der bislang folgenschwerste Unfall in der Zivilluftfahrt, der Zusammenstoß zweier Boeing 747 auf Teneriffa im März 1977 mit 583 Toten, ist auf eine solche Runway Incursion zurückzuführen. Bereits 1986 kam eine Studie des für die Untersuchung von Flugunfällen und Flugzwischenfällen zuständigen amerikanischen National Transportation Safety Boards (NTSB) zu dem Schluß, daß nicht technische Defekte, sondern menschliche Faktoren, landläufig als „menschliches Versagen“ bezeichnet, ursächlich für Runway Incursions sind. Dies ist insofern bemerkenswert, als das Rollen am Boden zwar zu den anspruchsvollsten Aufgaben im Cockpit gehört, Piloten in dieser kritischen Flugphase jedoch bislang nicht über ausgefeilte Assistenzsysteme verfügen, sondern sich nach wie vor im wesentlichen auf die Sicht aus den Cockpitfenstern und die Anweisungen der Flugsicherung über Sprechfunk stützen müssen. Als gesetzlich vorgeschriebene Hilfsmittel stehen zusätzlich lediglich Papierkarte, Kompaß sowie ein Ausdruck der den Flughafen betreffenden Nachrichten für Luftfahrer zur Verfügung. Daher befaßt sich die vorliegende Arbeit mit der Frage, inwieweit sich Runway Incursions darauf zurückführen lassen, daß den Besatzungen notwendige Informationen nicht oder nur in inadäquater Form zur Verfügung gestellt werden, und wie die Bordausrüstung von Verkehrsflugzeugen ggf. ergänzt werden müßte, um das Unfallrisiko zu minimieren. Nach einer Untersuchung der von Piloten und Fluglotsen am Flughafen anzuwendenden Prozeduren und Verfahren auf mögliche Schwachstellen erfolgt dazu eine eingehende Analyse von 40 Unfällen und schweren Zwischenfällen, anhand derer häufig wiederkehrende Kausalfaktoren ermittelt und kategorisiert werden. Dabei zeigt sich, daß sich die untersuchten Runway Incursions – abgesehen von einigen Ausnahmen, die eindeutig fehlerhaften Anweisungen der Flugsicherung zuzuschreiben sind – hauptsächlich auf mangelndes Situationsbewußtsein der beteiligten Piloten zurückführen lassen. Hierfür sind unzureichende Navigationshilfen, fehlende Mittel zur Erfassung des umgebenden Luft- bzw. Bodenverkehrs und möglicher Konflikte, ungenügend aufbereitete Informationen über betriebliche Einschränkungen (wie z.B. die Sperrung von Start- und Landebahnen) sowie Mißverständnisse in der Kommunikation mit der Flugsicherung verantwortlich. Um diese Defizite zu beheben, wird im Rahmen dieser Arbeit ein umfassendes Anzeige- und Warnkonzept erstellt, das alle für die Vermeidung von Runway Incursions notwendigen Informationen integriert, auf intuitive Weise darstellt und die Piloten warnt, sofern die reine Anzeige, beispielsweise aufgrund der Dynamik der Situation, nicht ausreicht, um drohende Gefahren abzuwenden. Als Grundlage dient mit der Airport Moving Map eine bereits kommerziell verfügbare datenbankgestützte digitalen Flughafenkarte. Eine prototypische Realisierung dieses Anzeige- und Warnkonzepts wird in Feldversuchen an den Flughäfen Frankfurt und Prag sowie abschließend im Flugsimulator des Instituts für Flugsysteme und Regelungstechnik der TU Darmstadt einer Validierung durch Verkehrspiloten unterzogen.German
Place of Publication: Oberhaching
Publisher: Aviatic Verlag
Uncontrolled Keywords: Runway Incursion, Airport Moving Map, Cockpit, Flight Deck, Flight Safety, Flight Deck Alerting System, Onboard Surveillance System, ADS-B, Collision Avoidance
Alternative keywords:
Alternative keywordsLanguage
Runway Incursion, Airport Moving Map, Cockpit, Flight Deck, Flight Safety, Flight Deck Alerting SystemEnglish
Classification DDC: 600 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften > 620 Ingenieurwissenschaften
Divisions: Fachbereich Maschinenbau > Flugsysteme und Regelungstechnik
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2011 09:41
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2012 12:00
URN: urn:nbn:de:tuda-tuprints-26110
License: Simple publication rights for ULB
Referees: Kubbat, Prof. Dr.- Wolfgang and Bruder, Prof. Dr.- Ralph
Refereed: 24 May 2011
URI: http://tuprints.ulb.tu-darmstadt.de/id/eprint/2611
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