Investigating Conformance Monitoring Issues in Air Traffic Control Using Fault Detection Approaches
Author(s)Reynolds, T. G.; Hansman, R. J.
In order to maintain Air Traffic Control (ATC) system safety, security and efficiency, conformance monitoring must be performed to ensure that aircraft adhere to their assigned clearances. New Decision Support Tools (DSTs), coupled to advanced communication, navigation and surveillance technologies are being developed which may enable more effective conformance monitoring to be undertaken relative to today. However, there are currently no general analysis techniques to help identify fundamental conformance monitoring issues and more effective approaches that new DSTs should employ. An approach to address this need is presented in this work that draws parallels between ATC conformance monitoring and general system fault detection, allowing fault detection methods developed for other domains to be employed for this new application. The resulting Conformance Monitoring Analysis Framework provides a structure to research conformance monitoring issues and approaches. Detailed discussions are presented for each of the elements of the framework, including the Conformance Basis, Actual System Representation, Conformance Monitoring Model, Conformance Residual Generation and Decision-Making components. Flight test data during a simple lateral non-conformance maneuver was used to demonstrate various implementation options of the framework. Application of the framework for ATC conformance monitoring research was demonstrated using flight test and simulator data in various operational and surveillance environments. Key findings in the lateral, vertical and longitudinal domains during non-transitioning and transitioning flight regimes are presented. In general, it was found that more effective conformance monitoring can be conducted relative to existing systems in the non-transitioning environments when advanced surveillance systems provide higher accuracy, higher update rate and higher order dynamic state information for use in more sophisticated DST algorithms. This is contrasted to the significantly greater conformance monitoring challenges that exist in the transitioning regimes due to Conformance Basis and modeling uncertainties. These challenges can be handled through the use of procedural design, higher fidelity modeling techniques or the surveillance of intent states. Two extended applications of the framework are also presented: a method for intent inferencing to determine what alternative trajectory a non-conforming aircraft may be following and a technique for environmental parameter estimation.
air traffic control, system safety, conformance monitoring, Decision Support Tools, navigation, surveillance technologies