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Article

In-Flight Aircraft Trajectory Optimization within Corridors Defined by Ensemble Weather Forecasts

Chair of Air Transport Technology and Logistics, Technische Universität Dresden, 01069 Dresden, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
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These authors contributed equally to this work.
Aerospace 2020, 7(10), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7100144
Received: 28 July 2020 / Revised: 4 September 2020 / Accepted: 29 September 2020 / Published: 1 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Collection Air Transportation—Operations and Management)
Today, each flight is filed as a static route not later than one hour before departure. From there on, changes of the lateral route initiated by the pilot are only possible with air traffic control clearance and in the minority. Thus, the initially optimized trajectory of the flight plan is flown, although the optimization may already be based upon outdated weather data at take-off. Global weather data as those modeled by the Global Forecast System do, however, contain hints on forecast uncertainties itself, which is quantified by considering so-called ensemble forecast data. In this study, the variability in these weather parameter uncertainties is analyzed, before the trajectory optimization model TOMATO is applied to single trajectories considering the previously quantified uncertainties. TOMATO generates, based on the set of input data as provided by the ensembles, a 3D corridor encasing all resulting optimized trajectories. Assuming that this corridor is filed in addition to the initial flight plan, the optimum trajectory can be updated even during flight, as soon as updated weather forecasts are available. In return and as a compromise, flights would have to stay within the corridor to provide planning stability for Air Traffic Management compared to full free in-flight optimization. Although the corridor restricts the re-optimized trajectory, fuel savings of up to 1.1%, compared to the initially filed flight, could be shown. View Full-Text
Keywords: AMDAR; ensemble weather forecast; in-flight optimization; optimization corridor; RAP rapid refresh AMDAR; ensemble weather forecast; in-flight optimization; optimization corridor; RAP rapid refresh
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lindner, M.; Rosenow, J.; Zeh, T.; Fricke, H. In-Flight Aircraft Trajectory Optimization within Corridors Defined by Ensemble Weather Forecasts. Aerospace 2020, 7, 144. https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7100144

AMA Style

Lindner M, Rosenow J, Zeh T, Fricke H. In-Flight Aircraft Trajectory Optimization within Corridors Defined by Ensemble Weather Forecasts. Aerospace. 2020; 7(10):144. https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7100144

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lindner, Martin, Judith Rosenow, Thomas Zeh, and Hartmut Fricke. 2020. "In-Flight Aircraft Trajectory Optimization within Corridors Defined by Ensemble Weather Forecasts" Aerospace 7, no. 10: 144. https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace7100144

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