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Subliminal air traffic control: a human friendly approach for introducing automation



IfA Internal Seminar Series

We present a mathematical framework for a novel concept of computer-aided air-traffic management called "subliminal control". The premise is that a large part of an air traffic controller workload is devoted to monitoring situations which are likely to become unsafe according to his/her uncertain knowledge of aircraft future positions.
The automated control system, using an accurate prediction model, has to operate small adjustments in the speeds of aircraft early enough to prevent the perception of a risk of conflict. These actions have to be small so as to be imperceptible by the air traffic controller, who is then delivered a "lucky traffic" and can handle more aircraft.
We formulate the subliminal control problem as a robust optimization problem in which the cost is defined as the risk perceived by the air traffic controller.
First, we use a hybrid uncertain system model to compute the function which associates a risk level with a traffic situation as the value function of an adequate optimization problem.
Then we use a hybrid game setting in which the control has to minimize this cost against the worst uncertainty, and we compute the optimal control strategy.
This study is carried out in the framework of Viability Theory for impulse differential inclusions and games with impulse dynamics. We provide an overview of the necessary theoretical results.


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