P92 EchoGoal of the SafeFly project is to develop telemetric systems and control algorithms to increase operation safety in a light sport aircraft domain. Aircraft from this category operate mainly in areas outside the control airspace (CTR) and usually follow visual flight rules (VFR) regulations. However in some cases weather conditions can change rapidly or traffic density may become higher than expected. In such a case it could be difficult for a pilot to see and avoid obstacles and other aircraft as required by VFR. It could be useful for a pilot to have an information about traffic in its surrounding which could significantly decrease a time necessary to detect other aircraft and take appropriate measures to prevent dangerous situations.

Within this project an advisory tool for cooperative and non-cooperative collision avoidance for light sport aircraft domain is being developed. Our intention is to give a pilot an information required for efficient and safe navigation of aircraft in environment with

  • highly dynamic nature
  • high number of aircraft
  • various levels of telemetric equipment

Designed telemetric system will provide several levels of service

  • autonomous trajectory planning
  • inter-aircraft information exchange
  • mid-term collision detection and avoidance
  • visualization of information and safe flight trajectories using onboard "glass cocpit" device

Project is a joint effort of CTU and industrial partners

  • CTU
    • Applied research in area of air traffic simulation
    • Development of collision avoidance algorithms
    • Biggest flight school in central Europe
    • Responsible for field tests of the developed system
    • Verification of algorithms on several airplane types
  • TL elektronicTL elektronic
    • Development and manufacturing of aerospace instruments and onboard aircraft systems
    • Extension of features of existing flight control systems

This research effort is funded by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic under the grant no. TA01030847

Project outputs:

  • Prototypes of hardware units
    • Onboard processing unit
    • Telemetric system collision detection and resolution
  • Software
    • SeSock Lite is a utility application, which provides access to the serial port on the UNIX/Linux platform through standard TCP socket. Application uses POSIX and PThread library. Data processing is implemented in synchronized thread manner and provides full duplex real time communication. Software is an open source under GPL license. Application source codes can be downloaded here.
    • TcpLite is a Java library, which provides acknowledged and unacknowledged datagram communication for devices, which do not provide this service implicitly. Library contains the communication subsystem for devices, which are using standard serial interface. Adaptation for specific hardware platform and underlying transfer protocol is done by setting the parameters of particular function set. Solution includes general framework and implementation of some basic transfer protocols. Library also contains testing and configuration utilities for Microhard serial modems. Library can be downloaded here.
    • System for collision prevention of light sport aircraft - system is responsible for flight trajectory planning of light sport aircraft that avoids terrain obstacles, no-flight zones, and collisions with other aircraft. It is based on algorithms for trajectory planning with constrains on applicable maneuvers given by the minimal turn radius, maximal acceleration, ascending rate and so on. Further it is based on negotiations of flight plan changes with cooperating aircraft and on extrapolation of the trajectory and its avoidance in case of non-cooperative aircraft. These planned trajectories can be then visualized to the pilot as recommandation or they can be uploaded to the on-board autopilot (if present) for execution. For further information about features and licencing conditions contact David Šišlák.
  • Publications - as the final experiments were carried out during autumn 2013 we expect to process the data and publish the resutls during the spring 2014.

Software methods and algorithms used within this project are covered by U.S. Pat. No 8538673.