Aeronautical communications panel (acp)



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ACP WGN/04 (New Orleans, 10-19 November 2004
WGN04-IP-12
Page

AERONAUTICAL COMMUNICATIONS PANEL (ACP)

WorkinG group N (NETWORKING) – 4th meeting

New Orleans (U.S.A.), 10th – 19th November 2004
Airbus FANS B project presentation

Presented by Stéphane Tamalet

(Airbus – ICCAIA Panel member)

Summary

On June 2004, Airbus has decided to launch the development of the FANS-B project for the Aircraft of the “Single Aisle” family (A318/A319/A320/A321). The FANS B project aims at offering the option for installation of a certified and integrated implementation of ATC datalink functions based on the ICAO standards (ATN) and complying with performance required in dense continental areas. The availability of the first generation of the FANS B systems is scheduled for 4Q2006 for installation on aircraft of pioneer Airlines participating to the Link 2000+ program.

This Information Paper gives an overall presentation of the FANS B project, providing details on the development roadmap and on the system characteristics.

1.Introduction


On June 2004, Airbus has decided to launch the development of the FANS-B project for the Aircraft of the “Single Aisle” family (A318/A319/A320/A321). The FANS B project aims at offering the option for installation of a certified and integrated implementation of ATC datalink functions based on the ICAO standards (ATN) and complying with performance required in dense continental areas. The availability of the first generation of the FANS B systems is scheduled for 4Q2006 for installation on aircraft of pioneer Airlines participating to the Link 2000+ program.

This Information Paper gives an overall presentation of the FANS B project, providing details on the development roadmap and on the system characteristics.


2.The FANS project


The Future Air Navigation System (FANS) concept consists in upgrading Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) systems in order to allow introduction of efficient Air Traffic Management.

As depicted on Figure 1 below, the FANS B project corresponds to the 3rd development step in the Airbus framework for implementation of CNS/ATM services.

Figure 1: The FANS project

The “pre-FANS” phase of the FANS project aimed at the upgrade of the aircraft architecture in order to offer flexibility for installation of AOC applications and provision for hosting ATC applications.

The “FANS A” phase consisted in the upgrade of the preFANS installations with ACARS-based FANS A (CPDLC & ADS) applications for oceanic/remote area (low/medium density airspace), in conjunction with GPS based navigation.

The “FANS B” phase corresponds to the upgrade of the Pre-FANS installations with ATN-based ICAO SARPs compliant ATC services for high density airspace in continental areas, in conjunction with Low RNP capabilities for approach navigation and Elementary & Enhanced (ADS-B out) capabilities for surveillance.

The “CNS/ATM” phase is the target , compliant with the ATMCP Operational Concept Document (OCD); it is intended to provide 4D Trajectory Management (through datalink and navigation capabilities) with initial ASAS package 1 applications (through ADS-B capabilities).

The FANS project development is governed by the Airbus FANS policy, which can presently be summarized as follows:


  • to promote the use of FANS B on the A/C which primarily operate in the high density congested airspace : i.e. the Single Aisle family.

  • to cover oceanic/long range/remote (low/medium density) operations with FANS A on the A/C flying in these areas (A330/A340/A380 and long range A319/320/321)

  • to promote/collaborate with ATS Organisations such that

    • no operational limitation will be applied in high density airspace for non CNS/ATM package 1 A/C, either through voice control or through data link accommodation for this airspace.

    • Global convergence to a performance based approach (RCP), which should allow operation of CNS/ATM package 1 A/C, as non CNS/ATM package 1 A/C, all around the world (no technology specific areas).

On the basis of this policy,

  • FANS A was initially developed on “Long Range” Aircraft (Airbus A330/340 family) and is in the final stage of its development (certification by end 2004) for the Airbus A319/320/321 family.

  • The development of FANS B has been launched for the Airbus A318/319/320/321 family.

The Figure 2 summarizes the current status of the implementation of FANS on Airbus Aircraft.

The differences between the FANS1/A standard and the ICAO CNS/ATM package 1 standard are such that on board cohabitation of both applications is not acceptable neither in term of technical development nor in term of operations and training. The Airbus FANS policy is to offer a single capability on a given A/C, exclusive installation of CNS/ATM-1 (FANS B) applications or of FANS A applications.

However, an A/C equipped with ATN router for its ATC applications will also continue to provide an ACARS router capability to allow continuous AOC operations including in the areas where ATN ground network will not be operative.


3.FANS B development Roadmap

3.1.General


The FANS B will be developed along a three steps incremental approach :

  • FANS B Step 1 corresponds to the use of ATC data link as supplemental/alternate mean of communication in upper airspace for R/T reduction.

  • FANS B Step 2 corresponds to the use of ATC data link as primary means of communication in upper airspace for better traffic flow management.

  • FANS B Step 3 corresponds to the use of data link as primary means of communication in upper and lower airspace (excluding TMA and airports) for cooperative ATM.

3.2.FANS B step 1


FANS B step 1 consists in the development of functions compatible with ATN Baseline 1 including initial 4 D Services while ACARS AOC capability is maintained all flight along.

Expected benefits consist in :



  • Reduction of frequency congestion (use of datalink for routing communications)

  • Optimization of ATC services (direct access to controller in regard to current situations of vocal saturation, clarification of pilot request)

  • Improvement of the workload sharing between tactic & radarist controller (use of datalink for routing and tactical communications)

The FANS B step 1 development will be divided in two successive builds: step 1A and step 1B:

3.2.1.FANS B step 1A so called “CPDLC / ATN Upgrade ”


With FANS B Step1A, Airbus develops a product compliant with initial continental ATC data link implementation (Link 2000+, FAA CPDLC Build 1A (TBC)). FANS B step 1 A has been proposed as option for initial operation in Europe ( Maastricht, Karlsruhe, Reims, Madrid, ...) and over Miami to a limited number of airlines.

The FANS B Step1A objectives are to:



  • Upgrade data link router with ATN stack and AVLC (ACARS VHF Link controlled) enhancement,

  • Introduce ATC data link applications with the Link 2000+ CPDLC message set extended with the additional messages from the FAA CPDLC Build 1A program,

  • Propose In Service Evaluation to a limited number of airlines. (participation to Eurocontrol Link 2000+ pioneer program)

This package include:

  • VDL Mode 2 ATN function for ATC use.

  • Capability for ACARS AOC applications sharing the VDL Mode 2 link (using ACARS over AVLC (AOA) protocol) with ATC ATN-based applications

  • Capability of High-speed data loading (A615A compatibility)

  • Capability for HFDL and Satcom for AOC communication over ACARS.

The development will be done with a design assurance level D (DO178B).

The development is started, with the objective of certification by mid-2006, and installation on A/C of pioneer airlines by end 2006


3.2.2.FANS B step 1 B

FANS B Step 1 B is the final phase covering all FANS B step 1 objectives. This product is the offer in response to the Eurocontrol Link 2000+ mandate for ATC data link.

It is characterized by:


  • Design Assurance level C for ATSU development.

  • Full CPDLC compliant with ATN baseline 1 standard (ED110 A)

  • Option for automation function (frequency auto-loading on RMP (ACM related ), FMS integration (ATC Flight Plan Integration),...)

  • Data link recording.

Note: Development of ADS at this stage will be considered. Development of DCL/ATIS services will also be considered (could be ATN or ARINC623 based)

FANS B Step 1 B should be launched within 2 years after step 1A certification.




3.3.FANS B step 2


FANS B step 2, which should be developed later, should offer first functionalities of 4D Trajectory.

Aircraft impacts will be more important : ATSU and FMS new software should be released at a minimum.


3.4.FANS B step 3


FANS B step 3 objectives is to provide the level of functionalities required by the ATMCP OCD.

4.FANS B System Overview

4.1.Overview of the architecture


The next Figure, illustrates the implementation of the FANS B architecture onboard Airbus Aircraft (FANS architecture).

This architecture is based on the Air Traffic Services Unit (ATSU).

The ATSU provides access to all data communications services and hosts the ATN protocols stack and ACARS Routers, the VDL Mode 2 protocols and the CPDLC functions. The ATN protocols stack operates over VDL Mode 2 only. The ACARS router operates over the VDL Mode 2 (through the ACARS over AVLC layer) and Satcom and HFDL.

Access to the AMSS sub network is provided by a separate Satellite Data Unit. One of the onboard VDRs is used for VDL Mode 2.

The FANS B Human-Machine Interface takes benefit from the experience and operational validation gained with FANS A. It is fully integrated in the cockpit , and is designed along the same philosophy as the one that has governed the design of FANS A service HMI (full time availability, readability for both crew in primary field of view, continuity of the visual scan, appropriate co-ordination DCDU/MCDU for flight planning management functions) with the aim to minimize the changes to existing procedures..



This crew interface is based on a Dedicated Control Display Unit (DCDU), which allows for the CPDLC messages management. An overview of this interface is given in the next figure.


4.2.Overview of the FANS B applications


FANS B corresponds to a set of Controller/pilot messages (CPDLC : Controller Pilot Data Link Communication), compliant with EUROCAE ED-110A/RTCA DO-258A interoperability standard. The following applications will be built onto this messages set:

  • Data Link Initiation Capability (DLIC)

  • ATC Communication Management (ACM)

  • ATC Clearances (ACL)

  • ATC Microphone Check (AMC)

The Airbus standard 623 applications are not part of the FANS B definitions. However the system will be capable of hosting existing AOC suppliers software.

4.3.Overview of the ATN communication stack


The ATN communication stack will be compliant with the ICAO DOC 9705 Edition 2 (including a number of the associated PDRs).

5.Recommendation


The Working Group is invited to note the information presented in this paper.
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