Engineer Eduard Poroșnicu

Engineer Eduard Poroșnicu is one of the pioneers of a new direction regarding data traffic in the domain of aeronautics. His contribution consists in revolutionizing a system created more than 50 years ago.

Bio:

  • born in 1967 in Pitești, România
  • he graduated National College “Ion C. Bratianu”
  • in 1992 he graduated from the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, specializing in “Aerospace Engineering and Aerodynamics”
  • he begins his career as a researcher at IMFDZ (The National Institute for Aerospace Research “Elie Carafoli”)
  • contributed to the development of the “AirNavigation” program, within the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering
  • understanding his vocation on the practical side of aviation, Eduard Porosnicu moved as AIS (Aeronautical Information Services) inspector in the Romanian CAA(Civil Aviation Authority)
  • lacking contact with AIS during his university studies, he invested serious effort to learn AIS operations and PANS-OPS, self-taught as first, then sent by CAA for formal training at the EUROCONTROL institute in Luxembourg
  • did training with the Project Management Professionals (PMP)
  • Romania was one of the first East European countries to adopt new standards in aeronautical information and switch from paper to digital, to which Eduard Porosnicu had a significant contribution as CAA employee
  • moving to EUROCONTROL in Bruxelles, Porosnicu takes the lead for the development of the Aeronautical Information Exchange Model (AIXM) and of the Electronic AIP (eAIP) specifications
  • not very often in aviation, European ideas make their way to the United States; this time, they recognized the value of the AIXM development, which has become since 2003 a joint EUROCONTROL/FAA project with goal to be adopted as an ICAO Standard
  • since 2004, Eduard Porosnicu is leading the Digital NOTAM project, which will become operational in 2012
  • in his career, Poroscnicu was member of many technical aviation committees, such as the ARINC 829 WG (Open Navigation Database Exchange), the EUROCONTROL Aeronautical Information Services Technical Sub-group which he chaired, etc.

 

NOTAM (Notice to airman) is the primary means of informing the pilots, controllers and dispatchers regarding traffic restrictions or closed taxiways. Before, NOTAMs used to be distributed as aeronautical information publications, having a limited validity. “The content of a NOTAM report consists of mostly free text which cannot be processed by a computer outside the various ICAO-certified codes. 18.000 NOTAMs are valid at the moment you’re reading this article, and 20-25 of them are going to be updated or cancelled in the next hour.”

Engineer Poroșnicu is the one who understood the importance of automating this system, as aviation relies on accurate and real-time data. Currently, there is a growing trend regarding the transition from the classically printed information to the online medium of manuals, diagrams and flight schedules. The aim of digitalizing the NOTAM data is to optimize air routes, as well as to improve flight safety by avoiding dangerous or restricted areas, which may change after the take-off.

Furthermore, besides promoting the NOTAM-type data (NotamX) online, engineer Eduard Poroșnicu is also the one helping to develop the programming language capable to interpret the specific parameters. The solution was found using AIXM(5), a program built through the joint effort of EUROCONTROL and the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States.

AIXM(5)(Aeronautical Information Exchange Model)

It is made up of two main components. One of them concerns the concepts found in the aeronautical information field, using classes of elements, attributes and the relationships between them.

This component is also called the Aeronautical Information Conceptual Model (AICM). AICM represents a starting point for designing the AIS (Aeronautical Information Service) databases. The second component is derived from AICM and concerns the way in which information must be coded in a format which is easily transmittable electronically between two computers and uses XML(Extensive Mark-Up Language) as the communication language.

“The Aeronautical Information Exchange Model (AIXM) is a specification that enables the encoding and the distribution in digital format of the aeronautical information. Although the term ‘aeronautical information’ might sound relatively generic, it clearly links AIXM to the ICAO Annex 15 – Aeronautical Information Services, which defines the information that ICAO contracting states have to provide internationally. This is also the primary scope of AIXM, which aims to support the transition from what is frequently referred to as ‘the current paper-based AIS system’ towards a more efficient and more capable Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) system, based on digital data exchange.”

„AIXM was originally developed by Eurocontrol to meet the needs of the European AIS Database (EAD). EAD is a central repository of quality assured data which enables the participating states to co-ordinate their aeronautical information updates, to produce and to distribute their AIP charts and NOTAM messages. Currently 40 European states are participating in the EAD operations, the objective being a full migration of all states that are members of the European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC).”

„However, the business case for computer-interpretable NOTAMs is not primarily based on benefits which will accrue on board aircraft. In the short term, it is unlikely that the avionics of the aircraft flying today will integrate automatic xNOTAM processors. In the short term, the most radical improvements brought by computerinterpretable NOTAMs are likely to occur in the content and layout of preflight information bulletins (PIBs) and perhaps in the way in which the preflight information is delivered”

“Digital NOTAM

While most of the aeronautical data contained in AIP, charts and other publication of lasting character is available in digital format, the sudden and short lasting changes to the aeronautical environment are still published as text “NOtice To AirMen” (NOTAM). A NOTAM variant, called SNOWTAM, contains data about the airport surface contamination with water, snow or ice in winter conditions and about the friction coefficient. NOTAM and SNOWTAM are intended to be read by pilots, controllers and other operational personnel involved in flight operations.

As NOTAM and SNOWTAM contain information that is needed by automatic flight planning, pilot briefing, flight support and management systems, there is a stringent need for this information to be available in formats suitable for direct use by computers. This is partially achieved today through the manual encoding of certain NOTAM by commercial service providers and airline operational centres. However, this is an expensive, inefficient and error-prone process which covers only a small part of the almost 800,000 international NOTAM published every year world-wide. Full digital use of the NOTAM and SNOWTAM information requires that the data is originated and published directly in digital format, not reprocessed later in the data chain.

Therefore, the Digital NOTAM concept was developed jointly by Eurocontrol and the FAA, based on AIXM version 5, involving the international AIS community and in close cooperation with end users, in particular industry and airlines. A Digital NOTAM is a small data set, made available through more advanced communication networks (such as AMHS and TypeX). It is intended to be read and processed by automated systems, which in turn will convert it into text and graphical formats for presentation to humans. Digital NOTAM can be used, for example, in order to present an updated airport chart to the pilot or to the air traffic controller, containing graphical depictions of the work in progress areas, closed taxiways or runways and temporary obstacles. A Digital NOTAM might also trigger automated actions, such as determine procedures impacted by the unavailability of a navaid.

In Europe, the Digital NOTAM implementation is planned to start by 2012, towards an initial operational capability. As result of business case analysis, an incremental implementation was selected as the most costeffective approach. Some event categories, such as airspace reservations, airport/runway closures, temporary obstacle etc. will be implemented in the first step. These have been selected based on their potential for digital use on short term and also considering that they represent 60 per cent to 80 per cent of the NOTAM issued in a European State.”

Bibliography:

  • biographical data from “Introduction to Aerospace Engineering” by Octavian Thor Pleter

(http://www.aero.pub.ro/files/Introduction%20to%20Aerospace%20Engineering%202nd%20Edition.pdf)

  • information regarding professional achievements of Eduard Poroșnicu:

(https://www.eurocontrol.int/sites/default/files/publication/files/sw42-autumn-2006.pdf)

 

 

 

 

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