Temporal database technology for air traffic flow management
The function of air traffic flow management (ATFM) is to ensure that air traffic operates within adequate margins of safety. Existing ATFM systems are manual which are over-conservative in. operation resulting in under-utilisation of available airspace. As well as being costly, such systems are unable to cope with increased demand for air travel in regions such as Europe. Attempts are currently being made to provide computer-based decision support for ATFM. Computerised decision support for ATFM ensures that safety margins are maintained while at the same time increasing the effective capacity of the airspace by more efficient flight scheduling. At the heart of such a system is active temporal database technology which aids the air traffic controllers by keeping track of airspace occupancy (a time-map of spatio-temporal trajectories of aircraft) in controlled regions of airspace, enabling flow managers to process requests for new slots for takeoff and to smoothen and optimise the flow of air traffic. The technology also aids air traffic controllers by alerting them to possible conflicts and by providing tools for re-routing aircraft to avoid mid-air collisions. The paper describes a large scale demonstrator for ATFM that has been developed at Ferranti Simulation and Training.
KeywordsBelief Revision Integrity Constraint Flow Management Slot Allocation Temporal Database
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