• SJU reference # PJ.18-04b-02 /Release 9
  • Stakeholders
    ANSP
    AO
    AU
    NM
  • Benefits Cost-efficiency
    Predictability
    Safety
    Security
  • Status Available for industrialisation/deployment

SATELLITE WEATHER DATA SUPPORTS SAFE AND SMART FLIGHT PLANNING AROUND HAZARDS

Aircraft already access valuable weather information through atmospheric observations during flight to avoid current weather hazards. In addition, geostationary satellites detect, track and nowcast thunderstorms beyond the limited view of on-board radar, enabling aircraft to strategically plan a safe and smart flight route around the thunderstorms well ahead in time instead of flying tactical manoeuvres and searching for gaps between the thunder cells. Using data on cumulonimbus (Cb) clouds, Cb-global detects, tracks and predicts thunderstorms. SESAR Cb-global data and Cb-global service enables airline operations centres to use this satellite weather information to improve flight planning.

Cb-global capability is a mature technology, developed during previous European research. SESAR expands this and addresses the delivery of Cb-global data through SWIM technical infrastructure. The data does not require real-time delivery so the service can be supported by SWIM technical infrastructure yellow profile.

SESAR JU partners performed two technical validation exercises for the developed capability and service. The first exercise looking at capability validated that Cb-global is able to detect and nowcast thunderstorms (Cb), convectively induced turbulence (CIT), and high-altitude ice-crystals (HAIC) and assessed contribution of Cb-global information in terms of potential performance benefit. The exercise focusing on the Cb-global service validated the service is able to provide Cb-global data through a SWIM technical infrastructure yellow profile to the flight management operation at a civil airspace user operation centre.

A statistics assessment compared real flown flight routes with planned routes optimised on the basis of Cb-global information identified potential fuel savings up to three tonnes per flight, fewer avoidance maneouvres and less alternate landings. Regarding the Cb-global service, the validation results show that service was able to provide the data in the appropriate format in real time mode to the data consumer.

The use of Cb-global as an additional strategic planning tool brings operational benefit. This benefit increases if the Cb-global information is used both in the air and on the ground for a common information sharing and common decision making. The solution is available for industrialisation and has been implemented in Ireland.

BENEFITS

Increased cost efficiency

Enhanced safety and security

Potential fuel savings