Graffica delivers leading edge ASM solutions using the Graffica GSDK platform.
Graffica is responsible for the development of the Local and Sub-Regional Airspace Management Support System (LARA) for EUROCONTROL, an Airspace Management tool that is designed to improve the efficiency of airspace usage throughout Europe. The tool has recently gone through significant extensions and improvements which are now being deployed across Europe, and are described briefly in this article.
LARA allows airspace authorities to share information and enables negotiation between authorities to ensure efficient use of airspace. This offers an airspace management product that integrates civil and military airspace requirements, and manages airspace by generating NOTAM and airspace activation messages. The result of the process in an Airspace Use Plan (AUP) which is delivered to the EUROCONTORL Network Manager (NM) as an input into the European wide airspace planning. This flexible approach to airspace usage allows for:
• an increase in the number of aircraft that can safely be in the air at the same time.
• a reduction in the number and length of diversions that aircraft must fly to reach their destinations.
• reductions in overall journey times.
• reduction in associated pollution levels.
• cost reductions.
The LARA system supports the concept of the Flexible Use of Airspace (FUA): Airspace is no longer designated as “civil” or “military” airspace, it is instead treated as a single continuum divided into a multitude of areas and conditional routes, which are booked for a period of time at a particular flight level.
Previous iterations of the LARA software were already capable of supporting these concepts and are in operational use across Europe with several Airspace Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs). This year Graffica have released to EUROCONTROL the next step in further automation of the process by directly interfacing with the NM B2B Airspace Availability web service. This allows an ANSP to automatically submit their AUP when their planning is complete, removing the need for the time consuming and risk prone manual process of exchanging flat files.
Graffica have also developed an associated tool, the External Data Quality tool (EDQ), which acts a provider of data to LARA. EDQ also interfaces directly with the NM services, in this case the Airspace Structure Service, which provides the verified and validated definitions of the airspace for all EUROCONTROL member states.
As well as a large number of usability improvements throughout the application, LARA V3 now also contains an AUP Prediction Tool (AUPPT), an AUP editor that displays the result of an AUP publication in a planning chart, with a map and vertical display providing a visual simulation of the activations at a point in time specified by a time slider.
LARA is a safety critical system and has achieved a software assurance level of SWAL 3.
Lara is currently operational 24/7 in several countries across Europe, and the current status of deployment can be seen at http://www.lara-eu.org