The achievement of a common European airspace (Single European Sky) and the provision of even safer and simultaneously more affordable services for a constantly increasing number of airspace users is only possible at European level through focused technical developments.
At the tactical level, the air traffic controller is the key player in air traffic management (ATM). The project PROSA Wave 2 (Controller Tools and Team Organisation for the Provision of Separation in Air Traffic Management) focuses on new interaction modalities such as speech recognition and the tasks of controllers in the field of aircraft separation management. It aims to reduce the workload of air traffic controllers. The capacities which are freed as a result can then be used specifically for those situations in which human intervention is crucial.
The project also addresses new cooperative working methods, beyond the traditional ones, in which controllers monitor a specific airspace sector in pairs. PROSA will explore how the traditional division can be extended in order to enable sectorless air traffic management and seamless cross-border operations.
The SESAR project PROSA Wave 2 (PJ.10-W2) builds on previous projects in SESAR (PJ.10 PROSA and PJ.16-04 CMP HMI), which were performed from 2016 to 2019. The partners working together in the PROSA project are air navigation service providers and companies from the aviation industry. Through collaborative rapid and real-time simulations and real-life tests, the partners are striving to achieve sustainable results which can be used throughout Europe. This enables the development of prototypes which can be realistically integrated into the future air transport system.
Within PROSA, work is being carried out on several so-called “solutions”: individual remedies for specific challenges facing the aviation system. The DLR Institute of Flight Guidance is participating in the solutions “Flight Centric ATC” and “Automatic Speech Recognition”.
Flight Centric ATC is primarily concerned with the concept of sectorless ATM. The core of this concept is to no longer divide the airspace into sectors, but instead to consider it as a whole, which can result in various advantages. Together with the Hungarian Air Navigation Service Provider HungaroControl, DLR will conduct renewed trials in Hungarian airspace for the concrete implementation of sectorless ATM. These tests will build upon the results obtained in initial real-time simulations in January 2019.
In the project section Automatic Speech Recognition, PROSA aims to demonstrate that by means of automatic learning of speech-recognition models and assistance-based speech recognition, recognition rates of over 90 percent can be achieved at command level. The validation will be carried out exemplarily for Vienna Airport. The solution should significantly reduce the workload of Vienna's approach controllers, enabling more efficient flight routes and higher landing and take-off rates. For the validations at the DLR Air Traffic Validation Center, both radiotelephony data from Vienna Airport and simulated data are used. Speech recognition, i.e. the transformation of speech into words, is handled by the Swiss research institute Idiap. DLR is responsible for the extraction of the ATM commands from the radiotelephony data (e.g. call sign and command rating) as well as the situation-dependent prediction of possible controller commands.
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 874464.