Analysis of the geometric altimetry to support aircraft optimal trajectories within the future 4d trajectory management

García-Heras Carretero, Javier (2014). Analysis of the geometric altimetry to support aircraft optimal trajectories within the future 4d trajectory management. Thesis (Doctoral), E.T.S.I. Aeronáuticos (UPM).


Title: Analysis of the geometric altimetry to support aircraft optimal trajectories within the future 4d trajectory management
  • García-Heras Carretero, Javier
  • Sáez Nieto, Francisco Javier
  • Pérez Sanz, Luis
Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Read date: 3 December 2014
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Aeronáuticos (UPM)
Department: Infraestructura, Sistemas Aeroespaciales y Aeropuertos [hasta 2014]
UPM's Research Group: Grupo de Investigación Navegación Aérea
Creative Commons Licenses: None

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Over the past few years, the common practice within air traffic management has been that commercial aircraft fly by following a set of predefined routes to reach their destination. Currently, aircraft operators are requesting more flexibility to fly according to their prefer- ences, in order to achieve their business objectives. Due to this reason, much research effort is being invested in developing different techniques which evaluate aircraft optimal trajectory and traffic synchronisation. Also, the inefficient use of the airspace using barometric altitude overall in the landing and takeoff phases or in Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) trajectories where currently it is necessary introduce the necessary reference setting (QNH or QFE). To solve this problem and to permit a better airspace management born the interest of this research. Where the main goals will be to evaluate the impact, weakness and strength of the use of geometrical altitude instead of the use of barometric altitude. Moreover, this dissertation propose the design a simplified trajectory simulator which is able to predict aircraft trajectories. The model is based on a three degrees of freedom aircraft point mass model that can adapt aircraft performance data from Base of Aircraft Data, and meteorological information. A feature of this trajectory simulator is to support the improvement of the strategic and pre-tactical trajectory planning in the future Air Traffic Management. To this end, the error of the tool (aircraft Trajectory Simulator) is measured by comparing its performance variables with actual flown trajectories obtained from Flight Data Recorder information. The trajectory simulator is validated by analysing the performance of different type of aircraft and considering different routes. A fuel consumption estimation error was identified and a correction is proposed for each type of aircraft model. In the future Air Traffic Management (ATM) system, the trajectory becomes the fundamental element of a new set of operating procedures collectively referred to as Trajectory-Based Operations (TBO). Thus, governmental institutions, academia, and industry have shown a renewed interest for the application of trajectory optimisation techniques in com- mercial aviation. The trajectory optimisation problem can be solved using optimal control methods. In this research we present and discuss the existing methods for solving optimal control problems focusing on direct collocation, which has received recent attention by the scientific community. In particular, two families of collocation methods are analysed, i.e., Hermite-Legendre-Gauss-Lobatto collocation and the pseudospectral collocation. They are first compared based on a benchmark case study: the minimum fuel trajectory problem with fixed arrival time. For the sake of scalability to more realistic problems, the different meth- ods are also tested based on a real Airbus 319 El Cairo-Madrid flight. Results show that pseudospectral collocation, which has shown to be numerically more accurate and computa- tionally much faster, is suitable for the type of problems arising in trajectory optimisation with application to ATM. Fast and accurate optimal trajectory can contribute properly to achieve the new challenges of the future ATM. As atmosphere uncertainties are one of the most important issues in the trajectory plan- ning, the final objective of this dissertation is to have a magnitude order of how different is the fuel consumption under different atmosphere condition. Is important to note that in the strategic phase planning the optimal trajectories are determined by meteorological predictions which differ from the moment of the flight. The optimal trajectories have shown savings of at least 500 [kg] in the majority of the atmosphere condition (different pressure, and temperature at Mean Sea Level, and different lapse rate temperature) with respect to the conventional procedure simulated at the same atmosphere condition.This results show that the implementation of optimal profiles are beneficial under the current Air traffic Management (ATM).

More information

Item ID: 33707
DC Identifier:
OAI Identifier:
DOI: 10.20868/UPM.thesis.33707
Deposited by: Ld Ayudante Javier García-Heras Carretero
Deposited on: 02 Feb 2015 09:04
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2022 17:43
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