Proceedings PaperSensor-based situational awareness as a hazard paradigm for optimization of ATC systems design
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This paper discusses a systems engineering approach to design and implementation of Air Traffic Control Systems (ATCS). Preservation of situational awareness by optimum use of available sensors is used as a unifying paradigm for airspace structural design which yields significant increases in reliability of operation as measured by the potential to detect collisions and effect avoidance. Strategic and tactical data required for continuous situational awareness is dependent on efficient and timely capture of sensor information. Analytical relationships between airspace structure and sensor search and acquisition functions were mathematically related. The reliability of ATCS airspace structures as mission critical components and probability of failure of these functions are derived. Modelling is used to show strong interdependencies between visual acquisition, cruising rule and tactical communications. The limitations of various airspace structures in use are identified. System reliability is baselined against well-known acceptance standards. Improvements of five orders of magnitude in performance and reliability are demonstrated with flow on effects to the reliability of overall ATCS design. The sensor paradigm is used to postulate an extension to current separation criteria and facilitate identification of fundamental failure modes for ATCS design. New flow model criteria enabling critical airspace structures, performance and geographic areas to be identified by simulation or real time performance monitoring are identified thus enabling quantitative measures required to baseline and improve system performance. The paper concludes by showing how modelling/real time monitoring can be used to predict system trends and capacity problems well in advance of actual system failure.