Home Medical Factors Facing Pilots Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Aviation News Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics General Aviation Helicopters
Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Links To Other Sites Editorials Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Upcoming Events Editorials


GE To Bring Air Traffic Management Into The Cloud
By Steve Hall

September 18, 2012 - A global leader in avionics and software development, the General Electric Company has embarked on an 18-month project with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to help bring NextGen air traffic management (ATM) technology into “The Cloud.”

Cloud computing will enable airlines and air traffic controllers to perform their tasks by sharing not only real-time information but also data analysis and decision support tools to improve aircraft operations and airspace efficiency.

Cloud computing is computing that allows a user to tap into a remote location where data storage and computational capabilities are virtually limitless. It already is revolutionizing how information storage and business operations are managed on the ground but has been slower to progress in the aviation sector, especially in safety critical areas such as the ATM arena.

Today, homeowners can use cloud computing to store music, photos, videos and other files in a remote, secure place. If the hard drive on their home computers fails, the information stored in the cloud will not be compromised. Beyond common applications in the home, you are beginning to see more prevalent use of cloud computing in everyday business operations.

For example, commercial airlines already are beginning to replace their data centers with cloud computing, which is saving them millions of dollars in capital and maintenance costs. GE’s program with NASA will identify opportunities within ATM that can benefit from cloud computing.

Liling Ren, electrical engineer and project leader from GE Global Research, “Cloud computing has the potential to fundamentally change how air traffic management operates today. With the transition to it, airlines, pilots, and air traffic controllers will be able to achieve increased information exchange, sharing of decision support automation capabilities that tell them more accurately and reliably about a plane’s current position and future flight path. This will enable them to improve traffic flow and plan more preferable routes and altitudes, which ultimately means more predictable and efficient travel that is on-time for passengers.”



A key program objective is to explore how air traffic controllers, airlines and aircraft can interact more efficiently in a cloud computing environment. Today ATM functionalities and capabilities are developed and hosted separately by each of these entities. The expectation is that this project can help accelerate the transition of NextGen ATM technology, which traditionally would take years or even over a decade to complete.  

The effort to bring cloud computing to air traffic management is part of GE’s efforts to build the Industrial Internet. The Industrial Internet represents the next evolution in product development, creating a living network of intelligent machines and systems that allows customers to realize new heights of efficiency and performance in their operations.  

In November 2011, GE announced an aggressive expansion of its software programs to harness big data and take industrial product development to the next level. The company has opened a global software headquarters in San Ramon, California, which will employ 400 new software professionals to support these efforts across GE’s business portfolio. GE researchers will combine its growing capabilities in software with deeply embedded experience in aviation and avionics to revolutionize air traffic management. GE is a key avionics integrator, offering Flight Management System (FMS) capabilities to the world’s most widely operated commercial fleets.

Other News Stories (For the latest news please checkout our home page)
blog comments powered by Disqus  
Home Aviation News Aviation Stories Of Interest FAA Exam Upcoming Events Links To Other Sites General Aviation Helicopters Medical Factors Facing Pilots
Maintenance and Aircraft Mechanics Hot Air Balloon Aviation Training Handbooks Read Online Aviation History Legal Issues In Aviation Sea Planes Editorials
 ©AvStop Online Magazine                                                                 Contact Us                                                  Return To News                                          Bookmark and Share

AvStop Aviation News and Resource Online Magazine