Eri Itoh and Michel Peters (NLR)

Dr. Eri Itoh (ENRI, Japan) recently won the ‘ICAS John J. Green Award’. She received this impressive award for her international activities and scientific contribution in aviation, specifically in Air Traffic Management (ATM). The award was presented at the 27th Congress of the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences (ICAS) in Nice (France) on September 24th in 2010.

Itoh, together with her Dutch colleagues at NLR-ATSI, studied the efficiency and safety of Airborne Separation Assistance System (ASAS) based Continuous Descent Approaches (CDA). These CDAs are introduced to reduce noise but have as drawback that aircraft speeds are more varied; therefore, aircraft need to keep larger distances than during normal approaches. One way to improve this is to give each aircraft ASAS, which is a tool that gives surrounding traffic information and visualises it on the cockpit display, thus helping pilots to keep a particular distance from each other with less guidance from air traffic control.

To study the efficiency and safety of ASAS-based CDA operations, Itoh – supported by NLR-ATSI – developed a mathematical model of the operation, and performed large scale simulations based on this model. The model included variations in aircraft position, airspeed, timing errors, wind speed, and the interactions between different aircraft. The simulation results also showed how safety and efficiency was affected if ASAS or its input information is temporarily failing during the operation.

This project is a partnership with NLR and the Electronic Navigation Research Institute (ENRI, Japan) where Itoh works. From 2008 onwards, she has visited NLR regularly as a guest researcher. Itoh is very enthusiastic about NLR: “At  ENRI, we receive almost 100 % of research budget from the government. My first impression was that NLR was very businesslike comparing with ENRI. I enjoy our collaboration a lot, and have been learning how to work efficiently as a professional researcher. NLR colleagues are the real experts in research projects.

ICAS – the International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences – is a global organisation that offers a platform for aeronautic researchers, for example by organising a major biennial congress. Recently, the congress was held in Nice (France).

The ICAS John J. Green Award was established by ICAS in 2001 in memory of John J. Green who was one of the Founding Members and President of ICAS. Its purpose is to honour young persons of distinction who are demonstrating an exceptional record in fostering international cooperation between scientists by their personal participation and involvement in aeronautics.

In 2009, NLR hosted the ICAS symposium ‘Aviation and the Environment’, in preparation for the ICAS 2010 Congress.

Picture: Eri Itoh and Michel Peters, general director NLR