05-30-2018 | Ramon Codina: Sensitivity-Based Trajectory Updates for Descent Operations Subject to Time Constraints

Title: Sensitivity-Based Trajectory Updates for Descent Operations Subject to Time Constraints

Speaker: Ramon Dalmau Codina, NIA Visitor (Technical University of Catalonia, Spain)

Date: Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Time: 10:00am-11:30am

Room: NIA, Room 137

Host: Brian Baxley, NASA/LaRC


The assignment of time constraints at strategic fixes will enable the introduction of environmentally friendly descent operations. Unfortunately, the guidance strategies used by typical flight management systems are not efficient to accomplish time constraints when the models considered during the generation of the optimal trajectory (e.g. the wind profile) do not match the reality. Previous work show that guidance strategies based on a frequent re-calculation of the optimal trajectory during the descent result in excellent environmental impact mitigation figures while accomplishing operational constraints in presence of model errors. However, re-calculating the trajectory is a computationally intense process. This paper proposes an alternative that allows for on-line fast updates of the optimal trajectory based on parametric sensitivities. Promising results show that the performance of this approach is comparable to that of re-calculating the optimal trajectory at each time instant.


Ramon Dalmau is an Aeronautical engineer from the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) and holds a MSc in modelling for science and engineering. At present, Ramon is a PhD student and researcher in air traffic management (ATM) at the UPC. His main research fields are trajectory optimisation, parameters estimation and data analytics. Recently, he received the SESAR young scientist award for his contributions in the SESAR activities by supporting the scientific development of ATM and enabling technologies.