Eighth USA/Europe Air Traffic Management Research and Development Seminar (ATM2009) SmartNodes – Towards supporting time-critical decision-making in Aviation Security


Abstract — This paper considers decision support for incident management in aviation security. One of the key issues in Aviation Security is that despite their catastrophic magnitude, incidents are rare and their precursors are sometimes hard to identify. Typically decision-makers have a limited time window available to them in which to identify a situation, select an appropriate response and tailor it to the incident. Success in avoiding unwanted outcomes can diminish with delays in making decisions within the ever-decreasing time window. In this paper the authors address the challenges in establishing timely situation awareness in order to support ‘course of action’ selection. We believe that smart systems can provide the technological capabilities required to efficiently manage a highly dynamic and complex environment, such as an aviation security incident. The goal of the research is to develop such a decision support system for incident management. This research-in-progress paper presents our approach in developing, designing and modeling the smart systems we call ‘SmartNodes’. We tested the performance of a network of SmartNodes within two recent European live trial scenarios in order to emulate real-time constraints and requirements. The results of these experiments indicate that automated support enhances the early identification of incidents and increases the situational awareness needed for time-critical decision-making in aviation security incidents. This ultimately gives decision-makers an increased time-window and thus a wider range of options for the deployment of responses

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