34 AIRCRAFT ENGINEER1NG April 1967 Equipment, Programmes, Techniques and Projects EUROCONTROL A.T.C. EXPERIMENTAL CENTRE AT BRETIGNY The £5,000,000 Eurocontrol Experimental Centre at Bretigny was inaugurated early this year by Mr Roy Mason, M.P., then Minister of Defence (Equip ment) and President of Eurocontrol. In the field of air traffic control, operational experience alone cannot provide the optimal solution to the problems created by the increase in traffic. For this reason the Eurocontrol Experimental Centre was created from the nucleus which had existed under the name of the Experimental Unit, since December 1962. Eurocontrol is financed by the governments of seven principal countries: the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Its outside activities have so far taken the form of participation in various trials carried out jointly with the administrations of the Member countries. In accordance with the terms of reference of October 25, 1963, the Experimental Centre must be regarded as an external service whose main function the A.T.C. simulator. The Technical Services Division position of any 'aircraft' (up to a total of 300 at is to study methods and techniques capable of is responsible for the technical problem of equipping one time) and provide information on a number of increasing the efficiency of A.T.C. and to provide the the Centre. The Administration and Finance Division aspects including flight plans, performance, weather General Directorate with technical and operational is responsible for all matters of general administration. conditions and pilot manouevres. It can simulate six assistance of a substantially practical nature. Basically The operations of the new Centre are based on the primary and six secondary radars located anywhere such assistance will aim at implementing experimental world's most advanced Air Traffic Control Simulator in the area and has facilities to store, replay and programmes (evaluations, simulation or studies) as which was supplied by a consortium of three European analyse a complete air traffic control exercise. required by the General Directorate. More specific companies: C.S.F. of France, who were responsible for The radar and display systems incorporate 11 ally, this activity requires that the Centre should: simulated radar echo generation; A.E.G.-Telefunken display consoles comprising 16 in. vertical and 21 in. (i) evaluate and evolve new control methods and of Germany, who provided the digital computcr;and horizontal viewing units, a system for projecting a procedures; Plessey Radar of Britain, who supplied all the 6 ft. square picture which shows the complete air equipment for radar and synthetic information display (ii) carry out operational research; traffic situation in the area of the control exercise, as well as 20 'pilots' consoles for the control of up and the tabular (alphabetical and numerical) data (iii) determine data-processing equipment require to 300 simulated aircraft. displays for 23 'pilots' consoles. These 'pilots' con ments; soles enable the 'pilots' to 'fly' up to 15 'aircraft' (iv) undertake the evaluation of air traffic control Simulation exercises enable control methods and facilities and systems. procedures based on the use of any navigational aid each by feeding, via a keyboard, flight data into the or telecommunications systems to be developed simulator system. Each console is equipped to provide The Experimental Centre comprises several regardless of the variation of traffic densities, which the 'pilots' with comprehensive information about specialised units to help perform its tasks: a Trials can be increased at will, and even allow the integration all 15 flights. Division, a Simulation Division, a Technical Services of aircraft not yet in operation such as the SST. All the displays and their associated drive equip Division and an Administration and Finance Division. Having thus defined the facilities and methods to be ment were supplied by Plessey Radar, part of the The main activity of the Trials Division is to carry implemented in order to meet the requirements when Plessey Electronics Group, as their contribution to the out, either alone or in conjunction with National simulated conditions materialise, it is easy to determine consortium contract. The Plessey contract to-date is Administrations, technical evaluations, both on the the various phases of development whereby a smooth worth approximately £750,000. ground and in flight, of all the systems or equipments transition between existing and future environment Eventually, the E.E.C. may extend its activities used for air navigation. The Simulation Division is can be guaranteed. beyond its normal framework and undertake studies responsible for the implementation and operation of In the shorter term, simulation will provide for at the request of the administrations. This widening the study of problems concerning the organisation role of the Experimental Centre reflects Eurocontrol's of Eurocontrol centres: basically European function. (i) optimum sectorisation in a vast control area; (ii) composition and responsibilities of control teams; (iii) inter-penetration of lower and upper airspace; (iv) utilisation of the same airspace for general and operational air traffic flights. To fulfil its role, the simulator must be capable of presenting a traffic situation involving a large number of aircraft having different characteristics and likely to use various navigational aids. It must supply the working positions with information derived from aircraft detected by both primary and secondary radars in a realistic environment including air/ ground telephone communications, liaison with neighbouring centres, etc. By means of the control simulator, fictitious radar echoes from aircraft on any desired flightpath can be provided. It is composed of the following elements: (i) a computer unit: a programmed numerical computer; (ii) a radar signal generating unit; (iii) a display unit and a synthetic video generating unit (which permits the display of a panoramic picture consisting of symbols and alpha numeric characters); (iv) a telecommunications system (for the simula tion of various air/ground and ground/ground links and intercommunications); (v) a pilot unit (the 'pilots' serve as intermediaries between the controllers and the computer; each pilot is provided with cathode screen console for data display; (vi) an operating unit or a control room. The A.T.C. simulator can calculate and plot the
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 1, 1967
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