SESAR and Weather
Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) is a multinational collaborative project to completely overhaul European airspace and its air traffic management (ATM). It includes all aspects of aviation from management of the airports, the trajectory planning and the planning for events that will impact on the aviation network.
EUMETNET is an alliance of national MET centres from across Europe, and is involved in the weather aspects of SESAR which the Met Office is leading on. This includes gathering meteorological requirements.
Developing a better understanding of user requirements
Many users in the aviation community are used to the basic regulated information that is available to them (METAR, TAF, SIGMET etc) and has been in the same formats for over 50 years. However, though SESAR, new tools have been identified and developed that can help improve the safety, capacity, efficiency and environment of their airport, airline or other ANSP (Air Navigation Service Provider) within the European network.
Initially within the project, requirements were gathered from all of the aviation users in SESAR; trying to understand what weather information they need in order to help their task of managing aviation. Initial work was slow as many users did not fully understand where they use weather information in their operations or how what is currently available can be adapted for their needs. However, though workshops and engaging with the stakeholders we have been able to identify the requirements of users and so develop new and exciting forecasting tools.
There have been several success stories from SESAR including a collaboration including the Met Office and two other national MET providers Météo France and DWD (Deutscher Wetterdienst), won ‘Best in Class’ at the SESAR SWIM (System Wide Information Management) Awards at Eurocontrol headquarters in Brussels in 2015 for the new tool the 4D Weather Cube which is a new method for identifying and disseminating relevant MET data to all potential users.
How we are supporting SESAR
Forecasting methodologies using mesoscale models from the involved MET centres for convection, icing, and turbulence as well as winter weather are combined to provide the best forecast for its users though a single access point known as MET-GATE. This forecast data has been used in the validation project TOPLINK and other flight trials used in SESAR.
In addition the Met Office was involved in the use of ensemble winds for use in trajectory planning to find the safest and most efficient route between two city airports. This is an extremely innovative tool that could help save the airline industry fuel cost.
SESAR’s desire to achieve a Single European Sky will be enhanced by ensuring that the best weather information is available for all users across Europe. The Met Office is able to assist with this task and the follow on projects such as SESAR Deployment Manager.
Lauren Reid- Business Development Manager