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Mobility and Transport

Aeronautical data Validation Platform


Talking one language under the umbrella of the Single European Sky.

We are very excited to present our aviation data quality initiative and propose an experimental data validation platform for the SES Award 2016. We believe to provide a fundamental service for future data quality assurance in the ATM domain.

Data validation is typically used to make sure that incoming data has a certain quality and unambiguous meaning. Validation can occur for various reasons, for example if it is suspected that the incoming data doesn't have good quality or because there is a certain SLA in place. The Data Validation Platform allows aviation stakeholders to define rules to describe what the aviation data exchanged via SWIM should look like. This can be a value range, a distinct list of values or data lengths but also more complex semantic based rules.

The validation of aviation data is essential, especially when exchanged across autonomous organizational domains such as Flight Information Region (FIR) boundaries. The validation methods presented here is based on the declarative rules encoded using platform independent SBVR language. Declarative approach has many advantages over ad-hoc programming but it also requires design and implementation of an expert system for access control, rule management and validation execution. Our proposal would be best described as the one-stop-shop for data quality assurance. It allows for an unlimited amount of validation rules to be quickly applied in a single step on the incoming or outgoing data and offers real benefits for service consumers and providers involved in the collaboration via SWIM.

The solution includes following functionalities:

  • Syntactic validation based on aviation XML data schemas (AIXM, FIXM, WXXM)
  • Semantic validation based on rules encoded using platform independent SBVR language (AIXM 5.1 Business Rules 0.5)
  • High performance validation and business rule execution engine based on Schematron for XSLT
  • Web based front-end with visual tools and validation rule management
  • SWIM Yellow Profile compatible API for integration with user’s validation procedures and process flows

The validation cases are organized based on units of work called "profile". Each profile contains a combination of aviation data schemas enriched for additional SBVR rules. Profiles are all exposed via a unique URL. In the current version the platform supports rules defined in the AIXM 5.1 Business Rules 0.5 provided by Eurocontrol with additional profiles for Digital NOTAM validation.

The provides best way to show how we want to assist in the effort to increase and maintain the quality of aeronautical data.

Award Criteria

  • Contribution to increasing safety of ATM systems
  • Contribution to reducing ATM costs
  • Early implementation
  • Potential to be replicated over the ATM network
  • Innovative aspects
  • Promoting SES and SESAR beyond the Union’s boundaries


Contribution to increasing safety of ATM systems

Our platform is dedicated to the aeronautical data quality assurance, thus it participates to the safety of ATM systems whenever it is suspected that the data sets exchanged via SWIM don't have satisfactory structural or semantic quality. In some cases the quality of data is critical and directly affects the safety. An example would be the Digital NOTAM validation, where invalid messages could negatively affect pilot's situational awareness.

Contribution to reducing ATM costs

Our proposal substantially helps to lower the costs for ATM IT solutions because it can be commercially operated via web as cloud service. Such services usually cost an order of magnitude lower compared with custom solutions, which are usually deployed and operated inside of ATM stakeholders' IT domains. We estimate that in case of successful deployment we could count on about 150 users in Europa. For them we could offer high quality validation service in the cloud using flexible pricing models, which would lower the costs for data validation for estimated 50%.

Early implementation

We are the first to offer a web based, high performances aviation data validator and business rule platform! We also first implemented a service, which supports the Eurocontrol AIXM 5.1 business rule set. The only comparable implementation is integrated into the EAD Database but it isn't applicable for XML documents, which are the only data formats supposed to be exchanged in SWIM, it isn't easy available over internet and doesn't have SWIM compatible API or an option to design, deploy and use the custom validation or business rules.

Potential to be replicated over the ATM network

Our solution is available in the public web via SWIM compatible, REST API. Due to its universal applicability and usefulness in all situations when data payloads are created, modified or exchanged, we expect lot of users from the aviation community. Due to lightweight design and the architecture based on standard, open source solution stack the validator can easily be deployed and operated in on-premise model and replicated over the ATM network. In a sort of mixed usage we expect to have about 150 users in Europe with additional 10 on-premise instances for those aviation stakeholders with special requirements.

Innovative aspects

We are the first initiative to offer the aviation data validation services available via Internet. We extended the initial concept of data validation based on the predefined rule sets building an extensible platform and providing users with tools to create, manage and execute their own rule sets. We also have recognized that the validation based on semantic rules might be useful in other important use cases such as the SLA enforcement (infrastructure) or content-based business decisions support (business process).

Promoting SES and SESAR beyond the Union's boundaries

Our data validation platform would not exist without SESAR, SWIM and projects previously done by Eurocontrol in the area of AIXM, Digital NOTAMs and Business Rules encoding. Currently, we are receiving a lot of questions from the aviation community and organizations such as the ANSPs outside of Europe. In some countries the local aeronautical officers and stuff actively test or even already use our platform to validate their brand new AIXM 5.1 data sets. Our platform helps the aviation experts across the world to familiarize with AIXM and other data formats. The data validation is crucial to ensure the full interoperability in the global data exchange, when the documents are to be exchanged between organizational domains like the European SWIM or the FAA SWIM. The future global SWIM will probably include up to ten different local and regional SWIM solutions integrated via dedicated gateways. The quality of data will probably be different from SWIM to SWIM. Although the data interoperability will be ensured through the global AIXM/FIXM/WXXM data standards, there will be certain differences in document encodings and even more in their interpretation and semantics. Therefore, our solution definitively contributes to the global SWIM interoperability and is therefore expected to be used worldwide and so contribute to the global promotion of the SESAR programs.

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