Year End RTCA/EUROCAE Summit Delves into Spectrum Compatibility, Use, Awareness
Two mornings last week, RTCA and EUROCAE held a Global Aviation Summit to discuss how the industry can best prepare for the future global environment as technology moves towards more efficient and effective use of spectrum. The Summit featured panelists from AIA, Airbus, ALPA, American Airlines, ASRI, Boeing, CEPT, Dassault Aviation, EASA, ENRI, Eurocontrol, European Commission, FAA, Flyvercity, Honeywell, ICAO, ITU, MITRE, NASA, Reliable Robotics, T-Systems, and uAvionix. More than 400 attendees had the opportunity to listen to and participate in the following eight sessions, summarized here:
• Lessons Learned and Moving Forward: With the C-band 5G roll out and conflicting messages reported in the press, there was public confusion about the level of risk. The intersection of diverse industries in the spectrum domain, with vastly different approaches to operations, has resulted in more interaction across formerly unrelated industries. Panelists discussed aviation and C-band co-existence, tactical lessons learned, spectrum sharing and allocation, the need to harmonize compliance requirements, building stakeholder coalitions, taking a look at who is operating next to each other, the work and cost that will go into solving issues and radio altimeter considerations.
• Situational Awareness in a Changing Regulatory Environment: Aviation Spectrum is regulated by both Aviation and Telecommunication authorities. This session brought together both sides to discuss spectrum regulations as they exist in the United States, in Europe, and in a global context. Recent developments are inspiring innovation in the regulatory process, and the speakers discussed what spectrum stakeholders can expect in the future. Panelists delved into the regulatory framework, new spectrum entrants, challenges of having long lifecycles for aviation and short cycles for telecom, interference issues, harmonizing technical regulations, effective spectrum management, and fostering communication with other industries.
• Shortening Avionics Lifecycle through Adaptation: Changes in technology and development tools have enabled much shorter lifecycles, even for avionics providing safety critical functionality. New aircraft use cases, such as UAS and AAM, are taking advantage of these capabilities with the goal of bringing lifecycles down to less than five years. Panelists discussed the technologies making this possible, the challenges to this paradigm shift, interoperability and the impact on safety and regulatory requirements.
• Future Spectrum Needs and Applications: As new entrants push the boundaries in existing industries, there is a greater demand for spectrum to enable operations. Existing spectrum users need to make room to expand bandwidth to allow for innovation. Regulators around the world will continue to make adjustments to allocations in spectrum bands. Panelists discussed vertiports and other emerging needs and entrants, educating on processes and building dialog and professional relationships. Read More
Standards Oversight Committee Acts on Emerging Technologies and Safety Oversight
RTCA’s Program Management Committee (PMC) held its December 2022 meeting approving one new document and one revised document for publication. They also reviewed and approved for release two White Papers. Additionally, the group approved delivery changes on eight Special Committees (SC) Terms of Reference (TOR) and five TORs had administrative changes approved.
Chaired by Dr. Chris Hegarty of The MITRE Corporation, the 21-member PMC is the RTCA oversight body charged with producing timely and robust standards and guidance documents to ensure interoperability of aviation systems and equipment. The standards encourage innovation and serve as the basis for meeting Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. An important responsibility of the PMC is ensuring the operational application of the technical standards.
As mentioned, the Members of the PMC approved two standards:
· DO-396 – MOPS for ACAS sXU Functionality Vol I and Vol II – MOPS for ACAS sXU Functionality – Algorithm Design Description, presented by SC-147 – Traffic Alert & Collision Avoidance System (TCAS)
· DO-230L – Standards for Airport Security Control Systems, presented by SC-224 – Standards for Airport Security Access Control System
Additionally, the PMC reviewed and accepted two White Papers:
· Summary of Activities and Potential Changes to DO-317C and DO-381A Change 1, presented by SC-186, Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B)
· Vehicle to Vehicle Communications, presented by SC-228, Minimum Performance Standards for Unmanned Aircraft Systems
New RTCA Chairman Lorne Cass Sets Sights on Blending New Entrants into the Aviation Ecosystem
When you hear Lorne Cass detail his long career in aviation, you can imagine him as a movie character saying, “Just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in.” This is because Cass has tried to retire three times but continues to return to the arena for the industry he has loved since he was a child watching planes at an airport in West Texas with his dad.
Cass began his aviation career in the Navy and has held many positions after leaving, including working for the FAA as an air traffic controller and in leadership and operations positions with KLM, Northwest Airlines, Delta, and American Airlines, as Vice President of their Integrated Operations Center. He has specialized in the fields of operations control, air traffic management, airport surface operations, airspace access management and NextGen. In 2020, Cass founded a consulting firm, Aero NowGen Solutions LLC, focusing on airline ops control and safe integration of UAS into the NAS. He became involved with RTCA in the late 1990s with the initial ‘Free Flight’ program and moved on to NextGen efforts, including several airspace initiatives.
“From the beginning of my time with RTCA, I saw how important performance standards are as enablers of safe operations in the NAS,” said Cass. “I knew this would be an even bigger consideration as we look toward a safe integration of operating environments for UAS, AAM and eVTOL, all within a finite national airspace system.”
Cass says he admires the strides RTCA has made under Terry McVenes and the RTCA team. He was happy to join the Board of Directors in 2019, under the leadership of Chair Steve Brown. In 2021 with the retirement of Mr. Brown, he was elected Chair.
“As Chair, my vision for the future is focusing on our members’ needs, building on our legacy of collaboration, and focusing on our mission, being vigilant and fixated with safety, which is foundational to all we do. We need to take that proud legacy and apply it to our evolving airspace ecosystem, safely integrating new mobility entrants, including AAM and UAS. We need to be flexible as we look to things like airspace and physical infrastructure requirements.” Read More
2023 Training Calendar
|March 13-16, September 18-21
|March 14-16, June 6-8
|DO-254, Design Assurance Guidance for Airborne Electronic Hardware
|April 3-6, December 11-14
|DO-160G, Environmental Testing
|April 17-20, October 9-13, December 4-7
|DO-178C, Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification
|April 17-20, June 5-8, September 11-14, December 4-7
|Supplements to DO-178C
|April 21, June 9, September 15, December 8
|Airworthiness Security Certification
|June 26-29, September 25-28
SC-213/WG-79 Workshop on Enhanced Vision Systems for AAM
In November, RTCA Special Committee 213 and EUROCAE Working Group 79 hosted a workshop on the support that Enhanced Vision Systems (EVS) could provide to the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) actors.
This hybrid event, attended by 55 experts from industry, R&D and regulator entities (EASA and FAA), offered an opportunity to present the current concepts of operation for EVS, in support of manned aviation, and the associated regulatory assumptions and requirements. The complex requirements around certifying and using vision systems were presented to help the AAM community understand the challenges and benefits of planning to install EVS in their systems.
The AAM concept covers the existing Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), the Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), and the emerging Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) vehicles, soon to be certified. The progressive integration of these new concepts in the aviation environment, first with a pilot onboard or remotely piloted, then fully automated, would benefit from an extended use of vision systems, for which new regulations and supporting industry standards will be needed. As is often the case, regulations for traditional manned aviation applications need adjustments for adaptation to the new technologies entering operations. Read More
RTCA SC-223 meets with EUROCAE WG-108 and the AEEC IPS SC at EUROCAE
Earlier this month, EUROCAE hosted RTCA Special Committee 223, EUROCAE Working Group 108, and the Airlines Electronic Engineering Committee (AEEC) IPS Subcommittee at their offices in Saint-Denis, France.
The groups work jointly on a Minimum Aviation Systems Performance Standard (MASPS) to support the implementation of ATN/IPS (Aeronautical Telecommunications Network / Internet Protocol Suite). This MASPS is being created jointly with the AEEC IPS subcommittee’s deliverables and the forthcoming documents from Working Group I at ICAO. The sessions of joint work focused on coordinating requirements related to security.
With the ATN/IPS system representing a complete network with avionics and ground systems, the MASPS will provide requirements and give guidance for the end-to-end interoperability supporting certification and deployment/implementation. Compliance with the MASPS will be recommended as one means of assuring that the IPS system and each of its subsystems will perform its intended function(s) satisfactorily under all conditions normally encountered in routine aeronautical operations for the environments intended. One potential use of the MASPS is to support early ATN/IPS development and prototyping. Additionally, the MASPS may be referenced by one or more regulatory document(s) and/or advisory document(s).
In the fall, the group decided to perform an internal review of the draft MASPS to allow each member to consider the document in its entirety. Having received and addressed over 200 comments internally, the group decided to do a second internal review prior to submitting the document for the Open Consultation (OC) / Final Review and Comment (FRAC) process, which solicits comments from the public. The groups will meet jointly in plenary the week of March 20, 2023 at RTCA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., where they will consider a motion to initiate OC/FRAC.
A Message from RTCA President and CEO
2022 was another fantastic year for RTCA working with our government and industry partners throughout the world. Our special committees and training programs successfully transitioned from fully virtual to in-person settings. We continued to publish quality and operationally ready performance standards that serve as a basis for certification by regulatory authorities. We also added two new training courses to our catalog; Safety Management Systems for New Entrants and a Human Factors course that provides a practical application of human factor engineering throughout the design and certification process. As we look forward to 2023, RTCA will continue our commitment to provide value to our members as we serve our great aviation industry with distinction, dedication, and leadership. Thank you to all our members, government and industry partners, and the RTCA staff for making 2022 another exceptional year.