Direction des Services de Navigation Aérienne (DSNA), the French air navigation service provider
The Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR) programme aims to modernise the European ATM system by developing innovative operational concepts in a new-generation technological environment and with harmonised standards. Within the SESAR programme, the French air navigation service provider DSNA is leading a technical modernisation strategy for all phases of flight in an ambitious programme co-financed by the European Union. DSNA is developing more agile, cooperative and digital solutions that will help achieve greater resilience in ATM while addressing environmental challenges.
SYSAT is the new ATM system for air traffic control (ATC) towers and approach control centres (APP) operated by DSNA in mainland France and an essential component of ATM modernisation. SYSAT is introducing electronic flight strips, a new advanced surface movement guidance and control system (A-SMGCS) and ground situation displays at Orly and Charles de Gaulle airports. It is providing new weather information, synoptic display and electronic documentation, increasing information sharing across ATC stakeholders and airport handlers especially regarding departure management (DMAN) and collaborative decision making (CDM) processes, and preparing the ground for SESAR evolutions.
Since the start of the SYSAT programme in 2014, Egis has been providing technical assistance to DSNA’s technical and innovation department (DTI). Our team were selected by DSNA for their solid functional and technical knowledge of ATC and APP systems and our highly regarded ATM system engineering capabilities. Some of our key experts have been working closely with DSNA for many years.
Role of Egis
We have helped DSNA design, define and consolidate operational needs and system architecture of SYSAT, as well as assess safety and Human Factors performance prior to deployment.
Development and implementation of SYSAT is being conducted in stages, from initial demonstrations by system manufacturers to procurement for a first group of airports in the Paris area (Charles de Gaulle, Orly and Le Bourget) and bids evaluation. This is leading to a number of framework contracts with suppliers:
- to replace the advanced surface movement guidance and control system (A-SMGCS) at CDG airport while meeting local needs and specifying user requirements and interfaces that are necessary to integrate and transition from the legacy A-SMGCS towards the new system (SOL@CDG);
- to modernise the main ATC systems in Orly using an integrated software suite:
- with transition from paper strips to digital strips;
- replacing and combining several information displays under a modern integrated general information display;
- integrated A-SMGCS functionalities (eTWR@Orly);
- and developing a simulator for air traffic controller training.
We have provided support with defining functional architecture and safety constraints for the SYSAT system within the operational ATM environment. This has helped DSNA with its decision-making throughout the system procurement and definition process.
Our support services included:
- Drafting user and system requirements, and defining logical architectures that reflect integration constraints of the SYSAT system with existing CAUTRA components, CAUTRA being France’s legacy ATM system;
- Defining incremental versions of the contractual framework with the system manufacturer, then producing the specific subsequent framework contract and specifications for the first group of Paris airports where SYSAT will be implemented;
- Evaluating supplier bids from an operational point of view, considering the working methods and operational constraints of air traffic controllers (ATCO) and air traffic safety electronics personnel (ATSEP) at CDG and Orly airports;
- Evaluating supplier bids from a technical point of view on system functionalities, architecture and safety to identify potential critical points;
- Analysing safety from definition of hazards to identification of safety requirements to be integrated within SYSAT development, in compliance with the 2017/373 European safety regulation;
- Defining a common working framework to produce all necessary material (operational needs, logical, functional architectures, operational and system requirements, safety and environment constraints, etc). This specific framework contributes to the definition of the DSNA system repository;
- Defining and contributing to user workshops, hosting ATCO and ATSEP meetings with system supplier and DSNA technical staff, in order to refine operational needs based on user requirements;
- Contributing to design workshops, in order to adapt the supplied product to the operational context, making the best compromise between operational needs and provided solution;
- Facilitating exchanges with the system supplier in charge of SYSAT implementation: guidance for the integration of the legacy interfaces, critical review of the documents produced, support to adapt the product design etc;
- Facilitating exchanges with local partners interfaced with SYSAT: the airport operator and manager (Aéroports de Paris) and the meteorological services of Météo France.
- Analysing the applicable regulatory constraints;
- Defining the test strategy for CDG and Orly, including factory acceptance testing (FAT) and site acceptance testing (SAT);
- Integrating all the requested interfaces from and for external ATM systems but also for the stakeholders (Aéroports de Paris, meteorological services);
- Validating the compliance of the A-SMGCS system with EUROCAE ED87C and ED116, validating the system in degraded mode, performance, endurance, but also its different technical and functional capacities, on top of the tests led by the system manufacturer. Operational use cases, based on the daily work of air traffic controllers and technical teams enable verification of system acceptance on site;
- Defining and implementing transition from the legacy system to the new system, without loss of capacity.
SYSAT development and implementation is an ongoing project.
So far, Egis has helped with the production of system engineering studies including a set of use cases, logical and functional architectures dealing with specific technical topics from flight plan, air surveillance, ground surveillance to environmental data; and safety analysis on ground surveillance topics to define a set of safety requirements to be met by the system manufacturer.
At Paris CDG airport, system configuration of the upgraded A-SMGCS started in September 2019 and part of the new interfaces have been installed. This step is a prerequisite to an effective implementation of SYSAT in a stripless environment.
A first SYSAT environment is planned for implementation at Orly ATC tower and approach by 2023. Interface integration is planned by the end of 2021.
At DSNA’s DTI premises in Toulouse, SYSAT test and experimentation platforms are now installed in a new 600m² building dedicated to this project. With a new working environment and continued support from Egis, DTI can efficiently progress with analysis of the technical maturity of the system and continue to carry out the necessary tests prior to implementation.