The European project AGENT (Adaptive self-Governed aerial Ecossytem by Negotiated Traffic) helps pilots negotiate the use of airspace and avoid collisions in flight, thus reducing the burden of overflowing air traffic controllers.
Maintaining a safe distance between aircraft is essential to maintain the reliability of European skies. However, the continuous increase in the number of flights in Europe is creating an increase in the density of air traffic and, with it, in the pressure on air traffic controllers.
That is why Aslogic, together with three European universities, has developed in the H2020 framework, a collaborative system of separation management between aircraft that uses a high level of automation to avoid collisions in flight. The AGENT system is designed to provide pilots and air traffic controllers with a constantly updated analysis of flight paths, trajectories and collision risks, which will assist decision making in safety-critical situations.
While larger passenger aircraft often have collision avoidance systems that monitor the surrounding traffic, they only analyse the possibility of a collision between two aircraft. AGENT is an integrated system that has been designed to evaluate all the traffic surrounding the aircraft, since sometimes the resolution of conflicts between pairs of aircraft can lead to other conflicts. Thus, the resolution of a conflict is based on negotiation between all the aircraft involved, taking into account the remaining fuel and the efficiency in terms of the flight time of all of them.
AGENT calculates the time frame and starts negotiations minutes before the Closest Point of Approach (CPA), where the collision could occur, in order to be able to offer various viable solutions in less than a second.
The AGENT algorithm identifies conflict-free airspace and activates communication protocols between on-board computers (taking into account their preferences and resolutions they would not accept) to facilitate negotiation. The ground controller receives the combinations, offers a margin of time to the pilots to carry out the negotiations, having the possibility to intervene and give a resolution of obligatory compliance.