Fundamental Science and Outreach for Virtualisation and Cyber-secure Data Sharing


Target Orgs:
Category:Digitalisation, Green Transition

European Commission

Total budget:
Due date:13.10.2022 Single-stage
Grant min-max:
Own contribution:%
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Project results are expected to contribute to the following expected outcomes.

  • Cost-efficiency. Project results are expected to report on the potential advantages deriving from the sharing of space-based services for aviation applications. In addition, the cost impact of investment in empowered data storage for big data exploitation at NM level will be included in the analysis of the cost-effectiveness of the proposed solutions.
  • Safety. Project results are expected to maintain at least the same level of safety as the current ATM system.
  • Security. Project results are expected to maintain at least the same level of security as the current ATM system.


The SESAR 3 JU has identified the following innovative research elements that could be used to achieve the expected outcomes. The list is not intended to be prescriptive; proposals for work on areas other than those listed below are welcome, provided they include adequate background and justification to ensure clear traceability with the R&I needs set out in the SRIA for the virtualisation and cybersecure data-sharing flagship.

  • Quantum computing in ATM. Quantum computing is likely to be able to break any current encryption method; therefore, a need for new security measures is anticipated. This research element will investigate the impact of quantum computing on future security needs in ATM (R&I need: future data-sharing service delivery model).
  • Space-based CNS services. The provision of CNS services using space-based technology will be researched. The purpose is to determine the effectiveness of space-based CNS services (e.g. automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B), LDACS) in fulfilling the requirements of ATC operations for upper and lower routes, and their potential implementation and use at regional level. The research should refer to the ICAO GANP and use the aviation system block upgrade methodology (R&I need: infrastructure as a service).
  • Digital voice. Communication services are moving towards an approach based on the Internet Protocol (IP). There is a need to further investigate how the dynamic allocation of IP connections may reduce the need for VHF channels on the ground side and the need for the airborne side to switch frequencies several times during the flight (R&I need: infrastructure as a service).
  • Hardening the ATC systems. This element covers the use of AI for systems hardening in ATC: using AI-based penetration testing to identify vulnerabilities during the development, deployment and industrialisation phase of new systems (R&I need: infrastructure as a service).
  • Enhanced techniques to empower NM operations. This element covers improving data structure and data storage to empower big data exploitation and analytics to enhance NM strategic operations (R&I need: free flow of data among trusted users across borders).
  • Application of business intelligence to network organisation. This element aims to investigate how business intelligence strategies and technologies can be applied to improving the efficiency, stability and resilience of the network through data analysis of business information (R&I need: free flow of data among trusted users across borders).
  • Identification and resolution of new (cyber)threats. The evolving ATM scenario, with digital infrastructures, platforms and service provision becoming closely interconnected, will generate emerging cyberthreats, mostly linked to a very high number of connected devices and to data-sharing. This situation will require the identification (and resolution) of new cyberthreats, which is the aim of this research element (R&I need: cyber-resilience).
  • Nurturing a (cyber)security culture. This research element involves building knowledge and awareness of cybersecurity issues among humans using the technology. There is a need for the ATM system to become cyber-resilient, and investments in humans, as the users of the system, are needed. Humans are the easiest entry point for a cyberattack, and a more cyberaware culture is sorely needed. (R&I need: cyber-resilience).
  • Conducting remote simulations/validations. This element focuses on remote simulations as a means of boosting participant numbers by being location and time-zone independent and allowing for a more flexible and iterative design process, especially for design evaluation in the lower maturity phases of system development. As this area is in the very early stages of development, research should determine how its potential can be explored, so that, for example, the problem of a shortage of participants can be circumvented, while contributing to the availability of a wider range of experts globally. With possible reductions in demand for mobility and in flexibility in both time and space due to post-pandemic effects, this solution could provide both methodological and organisational benefits to the ATM and research communities. Aspects such as cultural/local ATM operational differences should also be studied, and more complex network effects analysed by enabling cloud-based remote human-in-the-loop multisite simulations, in a direction which may have additional synergies with that of ATM virtualisation. Technical and operational challenges related to cloud-based distributed simulations, especially in the case of human-in-the-loop experimentation, should be addressed in relation to the need to temporally synchronise the entire experiment and associated events and interventions, align all actors’ views, etc. This challenge becomes even more difficult when trying to integrate legacy systems, which is another aspect that the research is expected to investigate from operational and technical points of view. (R&I need: scalability and resilience).

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