The SINOPTICA project aims to exploit the untapped potential of assimilating remote sensing (earth observation-derived and ground-based radar) as well as GNSS-derived datasets and in-situ weather-station data into high-resolution, very short-range numerical weather forecasts. By doing so, the project can provide improved prediction of extreme weather events for the benefit of air traffic management (ATM) operations.
This will be achieved by compiling a continuously updated database of remote sensing-derived, GNSS-derived and in-situ weather-station variables, in combination with an automated assimilation system to feed a numerical weather model. The usefulness of deploying dedicated networks of sensors to monitor atmospheric variables at high spatial resolution in the vicinity of ATM "hotspots" such as airports will also be investigated. SINOPTICA weather forecast results will be integrated into ATM decision-support tools, visualising weather information on the controller's radar display and generating 4D trajectories to avoid severe weather areas.
Extreme weather events impact aviation (Picure: NASA)
Nowadays, controllers have no ability to activate the display of local weather phenomena such as thunderstorms or areas with strong wind shear. Indeed, there are only two sources of short-term forecast information for the controllers, especially in the ATM centre working area with no outward view. The first source includes measurements of air temperature and humidity, air pressure, wind speed and direction, but is usually limited to the runways. The second are pilots who transmit information concerning the weather situation in their airspace to controllers via radio contact. However, weather information from pilots is regionally limited, and refers solely to the current state, without any kind of forecasts.
In order to change the situation awareness of the controllers with regard to the weather conditions and their spatio-temporal evolution, the DLR Institute of Flight Guidance will integrate professional meteorological information into controller working positions within the SINOPTICA project.
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 892362.
Centro Internazionale in Monitoraggio Ambientale - Fondazione CIMA (Coordinator), Italy
DEUTSCHES ZENTRUM FUER LUFT - UND RAUMFAHRT E.V., Germany
AUSTRO CONTROL OESTERREICHISCHE GESELLSCHAFT FUR ZIVILLUFTFAHRT MBH, Austria
UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI PADOVA, Italy
GEOMATICS RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT SRL, Italy
UNIVERSITAT DE BARCELONA, Spain