SWIM – Live success at World ATM Congress

On 14/02/2013, in SWIM, by steve

During 3 closed-out demonstration sessions, SESAR partners met at World ATM Congress to demonstrate live the agility and flexibility System Wide Information Management (SWIM) can bring.

Now I understand what SWIM is all about”
“SWIM is becoming a reality”
“Excellent demonstration!”
“This demonstration has shown that with very little effort you can interconnect many different systems if you apply the SWIM principles”.

These are just a few quotes from enthusiastic participants at the SESAR SWIM demonstrations held in Madrid on 12 and 13 February 2013. Throughout 3 sessions gathering over 200 participants, the live demonstrations of SWIM, the intranet of the future, presented the collaborative decision making capabilities of the SWIM technical infrastructure. They tested its capacities of information sharing, service orientation, federation, open standards and information & service lifecycle management.

The demonstrations involved 10 different ATM organisations interconnecting 31 instances and successfully exchanging information on airspace, flights, airports and weather. They proved the benefits of SWIM and how its maturing prototypes are closer to deployment in the near future.
Once more, SESAR is bringing tangible, deployable solutions to the ATM world.

SESAR Members and associate members directly involved in the SWIM Demonstration include DSNA/Meteo France, ENAV/IDS, EUROCONTROL, Frequentis, Honeywell, Indra, NATMIG, NATS, NORACON, SELEX ES and Thales.

Click here for the full demonstration scenario.

 

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SWIM is more than an acronym

On 26/11/2012, in SWIM, by steve

Major progress has been made with SESAR’s System Wide Information Management (SWIM), the intranet of the future Air Traffic Management System. At the 2nd SWIM Demonstration day, on 15 November 2012, airports, weather & volcanic ash information providers, airlines and air traffic control centres were able to exchange information instantaneously. This technical demonstration proved the agility and flexibility that SWIM will bring, allowing new collaboration between all actors in the system.

Today’s Air Traffic Management (ATM) system is a patchwork of different types of systems which do not necessarily communicate well one with another. The growing pressure on the aviation industry requires an efficient access to various forms of information, provided and exchanged using a secure and flexible system (an intranet). This is the objective of SWIM.

This second SWIM Demonstration day presented the capabilities of the SWIM technical infrastructure, designed and developed in the context of the SESAR Joint Undertaking work programme. SWIM founding principles of information sharing, service orientation, federation, open standards and information & service lifecycle management were all tested. SWIM enabled 11 different ATM organisations to quickly interconnect 27 prototypes and successfully exchange information on airspace, flights, airports and weather.

Click here to read the full article

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Manual on Flight and Flow Information for a Collaborative Environment (FF-ICE)

On 19/02/2012, in SWIM, by steve

It is recognized that the air transport industry plays a major role in world economic activity and to maintain a safe, secure efficient and environmentally sustainable air navigation system at global, regional and local levels, it is required the implementation of an air traffic management (ATM) system that allows maximum use to be made of enhanced capabilities provided by technical advances.
The realization of the vision for the future ATM requires an environment with significant information content and collaboration.

The purpose of this Manual is to present a concept for the Flight and Flow Information for a Collaborative Environment (FF-ICE) to be implemented during the time frame through 2025. The document has been developed with particular attention to the objective of achieving the vision outlined in the Global Air Traffic Management Operational Concept (Doc 9854), with requirements outlined in the Manual on Air Traffic Management System Requirements (Doc 9882).

FF-ICE illustrates information for flow management, flight planning, and trajectory management associated to the ATM operational components. It will be used by the ATM community, as the basis from which ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPS) will be developed, in order to ensure that the FF-ICE Concept can be implemented globally in a consistent way.

Comments on this manual would be appreciated from all parties involved in the development and implementation of FF-ICE. These comments should be addressed to:

The Secretary General
International Civil Aviation Organization
999 University Street
Montréal, Quebec, Canada H3C 5H7

Get your copy here.

Read my earlier article on FF-ICE here.

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Fact sheets on SWIM

On 21/12/2011, in SWIM, by steve

One of the ways SESAR communicates with the world is the so-called fact-sheets. These are compact descriptions of certain aspects of the work-packages and as such provide a fairly useful source of quick reference.

System Wide Information Management (SWIM) has its own set of fact-sheets, well worth a look.

Check them out here.

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SWIM – One size does not fit all?

On 24/03/2011, in SWIM, by steve

Whatever the context, this is a very true statement. And I hate it from the bottom of my heart.

Why?

Because in the area closest to my heart, air traffic management, it has been used over the years as the (rather lame) excuse for not harmonizing things, be it implementation dates, system functionality or the working position user interface. The results were inevitably increased costs, missed project deadlines, unachieved goals or goals achieved that were different from what the ATM community needed.

When the concept of a Single European Sky first surfaced, even its name was refreshing as it suggested a departure from the old buzzword and a bright new future where things would finally work to the same gauge everywhere. What a naïve thought…

At the ATM Global conference in Amsterdam recently, the top guy of DSNA, the French air navigation service provider, talking about the Functional Airspace Blocks (FAB), informed his audience that no single FAB would fit all and that FABs were bringing European diversity to SESAR.

It was rather disappointing to hear him use this well worn excuse for Europe’s inability once again to set up a truly single sky! One would have hoped for a more modern (digital?) excuse but that was probably expecting too much…

I got another jolt last night when the SWIM thread on LinkedIn directed my attention to new information on SWIM posted on the SESAR web site. There I found another echo of this hated claim.

Click here to read the full article

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SWIM in SESAR

On 07/03/2011, in SWIM, by steve

The importance of System Wide Information Management for the future ATM system is undisputed now and luckily it seems that the voices wanting to eliminate the venerable abbreviation SWIM have also lost power.

Within the SESAR Program, 2 work-packages are entrusted with the development of SWIM, WP8 (“Information Management”) and WP14 (SWIM Technical Architecture”), with involvement from EUROCONTROL in both. SWIM is one of the core technical developments in the SESAR Program. It enables data sharing between ATM services across the whole European ATM system. The goal is to improve collaborative decision making and common situational awareness through the provision of quality information to the right people at the right time.

It is foreseen that SWIM will put in place several elements facilitating this improved exchange of information. The first of which -the ATM Information Reference Model (AIRM)- is to be released soon. The dedicated SWIM web pages will provide more details on this and future developments. Furthermore the SWIM LinkedIn Subgroup provides a discussion-forum for all stakeholders who wish to get involved and share their ideas.

Of course this does not mean that SWIM development and implementation will now be smooth sailing. For one, there are still different interpretations of the concept and its scope and some experts even worry that the available network technologies will not be up to the requirements that will be imposed by full scale SWIM implementation. Sadly it is rather quiet on the SWIM Linkedin Subgroup but this does not mean that there is that little to discuss. If nothing else, just read Roger-Wilco’s many articles about SWIM and I am sure you will have plenty to talk about.

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Encouraging news from the SWIM front

On 07/01/2011, in SWIM, by steve

System Wide Information Management (SWIM) is one of the mainstays of both SESAR and NextGen. It has been known for some time now that a lot of the shortcomings in air traffic management (ATM) are directly or indirectly related to poor management and limited or non-existent sharing of the sea of information actually available at the various partners. SWIM will enable and encourage information sharing resulting in vastly improved ATM decisions based on a common picture of the ATM environment. You can read more about the SWIM concept here.

In the United States, Boeing and IBM have just finished a small project to demonstrate that it is in fact possible to provide timely and consistent information across organizational boundaries that can help improve decisions that become necessary when unforeseen events occur. They have in fact shown that SWIM type information sharing is feasible and useful.

In crisis situations the sharing of up to the minute flight data (including surveillance data), information on restrictions, weather and facility availability is particularly important if decisions are to be timely and effective.

Click here to read the full article

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SWIM and WikiLeaks – do we need to worry?

On 05/01/2011, in SWIM, by steve

For all those who are even a little familiar with the System Wide Information Management (SWIM) concept the recent publication of thousands of classified diplomatic documents must have come as a shock. If secret diplomatic correspondence can be hijacked and made public with such ease, what hope do we have of keeping the commercially or otherwise sensitive data that will be shared in the air traffic management environment confidential? Will anyone still be willing to share their sensitive data?

To give an answer to this question, we have to examine how those secret, electronically stored documents got into the wrong hands in the first place.

For many years the United States government was being lambasted from all sides for being a dinosaur in the information age. Adoption of electronic government functions, long commonplace in countries of far lesser sophistication, were being introduced at a painfully slow rate, if at all. Significantly, the 9/11 commission report charged that computers in the various government departments could not share information and that this contributed to the terrorists being able to conduct their preparations unnoticed.

In other words, Uncle Sam was badly in need of a healthy dose of SWIM. As we know, System Wide Information Management ensures that everyone has the data they need in a timely manner and in the quality that meets their requirements. SWIM also ensures that the confidentiality of information passing through it is rigorously protected.

Click here to read the full article

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FF-ICE – Flight and Flow Information for a Collaborative Environment

On 05/11/2010, in SWIM, by steve

A great document from unexpected quarters

Before anyone misunderstands, I would like to stress that receiving a great document from the Air Traffic Management and Performance Panel (ATMRPP) is not what is unexpected. It is more the scope of the document that was surprising, given its relatively humble beginnings. That the document is also visionary and uses the correct terminology throughout is just icing on the cake.

So what is this doc that has moved this arch-critic of the more common, poorly structured, inconsistent products using poor terminology to such words of praise?

When I was sent a copy of “Flight and Flow Information for a Collaborative Environment – A Concept”, produced by the ATMRPP, my interest was picked immediately. A few years ago when this document was in its infancy, I had the honor of being able to advise EUROCONTROL on how to interpret the advanced flight planning vision we wrote into the SESAR Concept of Operations. I recalled clearly how different experts had different views on the subject and it looked like achieving consensus would be all but impossible. So, if for nothing else, I was curious to see what the result was in the end.

Why did I say that the document, in spite of its lofty title, had humble beginnings? Well, the work that culminated in this beauty had set out originally to create a new ICAO flight plan to replace the current, hopelessly outdated product. In the end, a two step approach was agreed with a new, updated flight plan coming in the near future (read more about that here) to take care of the immediate needs. After this first step, the second aims to implement what they called the FF-ICE, covering the time frame up to 2025. FF-ICE stands for Flight and Flow Information for a Collaborative Environment and the document is in fact the description of the FF-ICE concept.

Setting out to remedy the pretty bad scene around the existing flight plan and its contents, the experts could not fail to realize that a solution that addressed only the flight plan as such would not bring about the much needed improvement. Only a wholesale revamping of the information management environment of which flight plans and their content are a part would ensure that the well-known problems disappear and the whole thing become future proof.

The ATMPRPP created a concept that aligns well with System Wide Information Management (SWIM) as being planned in Europe and the US and it also covers the new ideas on how flight planning should work as described in the SESAR Concept of Operations.

Click here to read the full article

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SESAR and SWIM – things are slowly becoming reality

On 03/11/2010, in SESAR's Palace, SWIM, by steve

Good news at long last

Not so long ago, I was asked to make a presentation about System Wide Information Management (SWIM) to the participants of a project we are involved in. While most of the audience noted what I said and asked a few relevant questions, there was also a small minority who expressed the opinion that SWIM as I described it will never happen. This reminded me of arguments I have had years earlier with someone who went so far as even wanting to banish the name “SWIM” for reasons I could never really understand (you can read more about how this name was born here).

It also struck me as strange that if you ask the average person involved in or near SESAR about what is going on in the project in the context of information management generally and SWIM in particular, you are likely to get a list of work packages and companies involved in working on them but little else.

I at Roger-Wilco have written a lot about SWIM but most of the time I was trying to describe the why with an indication of possible “how” options but that was also not the information we crave so much: what is going on with SWIM?

Into this void came finally information from recently published papers (e.g. from the Stakeholder Consultation Group SCG) that describes not only the why and how of SESAR but also the status as it is now with important details about the work that is ongoing.

Having been involved with SWIM right from the day it was born (hell I can claim part of the fatherhood for this baby), I am now especially pleased to see that the terminology being used to describe the SWIM concept and its practicalities is exactly as we have always intended it to be. This is important because over the years there were several attempts to water down the concept, to change its focus or main principles and there was a very real danger that it would end up like so many good initiatives before it, dead before it had a chance to prove itself. But apparently this danger is now past and those involved in the work to-day are developing SWIM along the correct lines.

I will not bore you with a repeated description of what SWIM is. You can read more about that here. Instead, I will focus on the ongoing activities and their significance.

As you will see, there is plenty to talk about.

Click here to read the full article

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