ATM Modernization, Embedded Avionics

Europe Developing a Solid Foundation for SWIM 

By Woodrow Bellamy III  | July 7, 2015
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[Avionics Today 07-07-2015] European Air Traffic Management (ATM) stakeholders are building a solid foundation for a concept of operations for System Wide Information Management (SWIM), which represents a paradigm shift in how aeronautical information is managed and distributed throughout the air traffic ecosystem. On June 23, 2015, more than 100 participants from around the globe attended the launch of the 2015 Single European Sky ATM Research Joint Undertaking (SESAR JU) SWIM Master Class—which seeks to broaden the aviation community's understanding of SWIM and increase synergy between what is being developed internally by SESAR and externally by third party industry players. 
 
 
Eurocontrol's SWIM concept of operations. Photo: Eurocontrol. 
 
Eurocontrol defines the SWIM concept, as a shift to the region’s ATM system that provides a wide range of stakeholders with commonly understood quality information about airspace operations. This includes information about flight trajectory changes, airport operations including approaches, runways and taxiways. Also included in the SWIM concept of operations are meteorological information relevant to air traffic,  and surveillance positioning information from radar, satellite navigation systems and aircraft data links delivered to pilots, airport operations centers, vehicles moving along the airport surface and military operations centers among other ATM stakeholders. 
 
In the past, most ATM systems around the globe have been characterized by customized communication protocols, each with their own self contained information systems and all of the above mentioned stakeholders access that information individually with no common interface or data messages or sets to pull from. That's the problem the SWIM Master Class is looking to address. 
 
During the launch of the 2015 SWIM Master Class, presentations from Eurocontrol, FlightAware, Selex, 1spatial, Solitec and others proposed XML output formats, live streaming data feeds and tools for coordinating unexpected massive aircraft diversions within a section of airspace. Guy Potiron, AF 5 cluster expert representing the SESAR Deployment Manager, also presented the SWIM section of the recently finalized SESAR Deployment Program, and the roadmap for the deployment of initial SWIM (iSWIM). 
 
"In 2014, the European Commission published the Implementing Rule No 716/2014 establishing the Pilot Common Project (PCP), which outlines steps to take for the deployment of the initial SWIM (iSWIM). iSWIM is the necessary foundation to then move towards full SWIM. It is an essential infrastructure to support information exchanges that are built on standards and delivered through an Internet protocol (IP)-based network by SWIM enabled systems," Potiron told Avionics Magazine. 
 
According to Potiron, information exchanges delivered through an IP-based SWIM network consists of the following: 
 
-Common infrastructure components 
-SWIM technical infrastructure and profiles 
-Aeronautical information exchange
-Meteorological information exchange
-Cooperative network information exchange
-Flight information exchange
 
Currently there are already elements of initial SWIM services being used throughout the European ATM network. For example, Eurocontrol has developed the Network Operations Plan (NOP) for the European Network Manager (NM) which allows partners to anticipate or react more efficiently to any unexpected event, according to Potiron. A second example, he said, is the B2B services tool used to access the European Aviation Database currently being used by Eurocontrol. EAD provides a centralized reference database of aeronautical information for airspace users and an integrated Aeronautical Information System (AIS) solution for Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs). Both B2B services consist of a set of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) compliant web services based on Aeronautical Information Exchange Model (AIXM) open standards and "mainstream IT technologies," according to Potiron and Ruben Flohr, an ATM information management expert for SESAR.
 
"The next steps are now to implement in 2016 a robust SWIM governance to ensure that the right common deployment decisions are taken between all the operational stakeholders with the support of the standardization bodies and IT suppliers," said Potiron. "Specifically the phase of work will indicate the standards for data and the related services; security requirements for SWIM compliancy; the necessary regulations; and the deployment roadmap for the SWIM services in line with the PCP. This phase of work will also identify the organizational framework needed between SWIM providers and the SWIM users, according to the agreed deployment roadmap."
 
With the PCP and now with the first version of the Deployment Program, the development of the detailed SWIM deployment scenario to reach the 2025 targets has started, function-by-function, service-by-service, Potiron said. 
 
Through the end of October, participants in SESAR's SWIM Master Class will compete for a "Best in Class" award for SWIM compliant services and applications.  

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