AWACS: Adaption of WORHP to Avionics Constraints

Air traffic has been growing continuously over the last decades and this trend is expected to continue into the future. Major airports are facing more than thousand aircraft movements a day, leading to considerable impact of the surrounding communities in terms of noise and air pollution. Therefore, airport extensions are facing strong objections and modifications of existing take-off and approach routes are of great interest for these communities.

Often, simple countermeasures are considered, e.g. banning night flights or providing better sound insulation to nearby residents. However, these not very sophisticated measures are costly and reduce the potential capacity of the airport. To ensure air traffic growth that is environmentally sustainable and well accepted by the European population, the European Commission has formulated a 75% reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger kilometre, a 90% reduction in NOx emissions, and a perceived noise emission of flying aircraft by 65%.

One possibility to reduce emission and noise is through aircraft trajectory optimization, which can contribute to benefits for all stakeholders. The AWACS project (Adaption of WORHP to Avionics Constraints) will improve and extend the functionality of the WORHP solver towards aircraft trajectory optimization. AWACS will

  • Increase the computational performance of WORHP by making use of the special properties of aircraft trajectory optimization problems.
  • Improve the robustness of the calculation engine by hardening the solver against erroneous input values and introducing so-called “conservative” iterates.
  • Enhance the flexibility of the NLP solver by adding functionality to solve multiobjective optimization problems in a variety of ways.
  • Add versatility by introducing features that make intermediate steps available as suboptimal solutions including their current validity status.
  • Analyze the solver and its software environment from a certification point of view regarding on-board and on ground usage.

AWACS is developed jointly by the Steinbeis Innovationszentrum Optimierung, Steuerung und Regelung at Universität Bremen; the Steinbeis Innovationszentrum Optimierung, Steuerung und Regelung at Universität der Bundeswehr München; the Institute of Flight System Dynamics at the Technische Universität München; and the Centre for Operational Research, Management Science and Information Systems at the University of Southampton.

The project is funded by Clean Sky JTI-CS-2012-3-SGO-03-020. Clean Sky, http://www.cleansky.eu/ , is a Public Private Partnership between the European Commission and the Aeronautical Industry.

A case study: Computation of noise minimal approach trajectories using WORHP

Global air traffic is growing continuously due to the increasing demand for travel and the developing globalization. Inherent to this growth, the environmental pollution and the annoyance of people (especially by noise) living in airport surroundings also increase. To compute noise minimal approach and departure trajectories optimal control methods with WORHP as the numerical solver can be used. In the image a noise minimal approach trajectory for an airport has been computed based on an aircraft dynamics model, a noise model and the population distribution.

Reference: M. Bittner, B. Fleischmann, M. Richter, F. Holzapfel: Optimization of ATM scenarios considering overall and single costs, 6th International Conference on Research in Air Transportation (ICRAT), Istanbul, Turkey, 2014.