This project is a European Commission funded project under the FP6 program. http://www.ifats-project.org
The IFATS project proposes to study a revolutionary concept for a future air transportation system by adding as much onboard automation and autonomy to the aircraft as necessary to fulfil the overall requirements of improved efficiency and safety of air transportation.
Innovative Future Air Transport System
All the various air and ground components of the system communicate with one another through a network-centric architecture:
Aircraft fly autonomously pre-programmed flight plans using sophisticated onboard computing and sensor systems. Ground operators are responsible for the overall situation, whereabouts of aircraft and tracking of their intentions.
Functionalities of the system are flexibly distributed between the ground and aircraft, relying on intensive data communication capabilities between aircraft, and between aircraft and the network of ground stations.
Current pilots and controllers tasks are deeply modified as the elements of the system communicate digitally: pilots can be removed from the cockpit and controllers work is transformed into system monitoring actions. Additional features are added like direct assistance from the aircraft manufacturer for in flight aircraft diagnosis and remote maintenance.
IFATS project involves 11 contractors:Office National d’Etudes et de Recherche Aérospatiales (ONERA), FranceEADS Defence and Security Systems SA, FranceIsrael Aircraft industries, IsraelThales Communications SA, FranceAlenia Aeronautica S.p.A, ItalyErdyn consultants, FranceDeutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt e.V, GermanyDirection des Services de la Navigation Aérienne (DSNA/DTI/SDER), FranceCentro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali ScpA, ItalyUniversity of Patras, GreeceTechnion – Israel Institute of Technology, Israel