SafeClouds presentation at the IATA ADS

On November 15-16, 2017, IATA organised the first Aviation Data Symposium in Miami, FL USA. This event covered different angles of the application of engineering and data analytics to airline safety, operations, passenger distribution, sales, and air freight. These three areas were complemented by a technology track, which covered techniques and tools to support data activities in airlines. The safety and operation tracks discussed how big data is helping airlines to optimise operations while maintaining safety, and also presenting the upcoming main challenges.

The event also covered a review of the benefits from the various global information sharing and exchange networks, including the Global Aviation Data Management programmes coordinated by IATA. During the Symposium, Mr. Quevedo presented IATA data connect, the database of aviation accidents, IATA FDX, the GDDB and STEADES. ASIAS, the US data exchange programme was also presented by Mr. Madar, Managing Director of Operation Safety of American Airlines. Then, Mr. Hernández-Coronado, Director of Safety Analysis and QM of the Spanish Aviation and Security Agency (AESA) presented the European programme Data4Safety, that was recently launched by EASA in Europe.

Concerns regarding privacy remain very strong, as often, the privacy protocols are strict and de-identification could make data challenging to use, as explained by the programme representatives. Mr. Madar stressed new techniques and technologies that allow to progress on data privacy, together with new tools that allow to move from descriptive to predictive technologies, like machine learning, as an area that will help the programmes evolve, as the descriptive analysis done in the last decade, as done with ASIAS.

Mr. Hernández-Coronado presented SafeClouds in detail. AESA participates in the SafeClouds project and helps the team understand how different technologies researched in the project can help aviation data exchange programmes overcome some of the presented challenges. These challenges include data fusion and integration, data protection and privacy, and computing infrastructures. SafeClouds also investigates predictive analytic concepts and techniques to help aviation stakeholders make decisions, even during the operations.

Mr. Hérnandez-Coronado also covered the activities performed by the Spanish Aviation and Security Agency, particularly the Spanish SSP, State Safety Programme. This system receives and collects around 300-400 safety events per week. He also presented the RIMAS system, showing the capability of providing a complete risk assessment picture of the national safety status by combining a variety of data sources; ultimately providing analytical support for AESA so that they may focus their attention on those areas that require supervision.

Blockchain and other data science applications for aviation digitalization

For the 5th consecutive year, Innaxis organized the Data Science in Aviation Workshop with much positive feedback. This 2017 edition took place last September at EASA HQ in Cologne, Germany, sponsored by the project.

This series of annual workshops was created in 2013 to promote data science techniques applied to the aviation field. Initially, this was a breakthrough idea as data analytic initiatives in the sector were very scarce. On the other hand, the potential benefit of applying these techniques to aviation, with relatively limited investment, greatly supported the effort of pushing this paradigm shift. Now, only 5 years later, the number of ongoing initiatives of data science applications in the aviation sector has continuously increased; demonstrating that the effort was really worth it.

Data has become the key driver of change all across aviation: from maintenance to training, from fuel efficiency to safety. There are on-going examples, with different levels of maturity, in nearly every layer of the aviation sector. This ranges from manufacturing to operations, both from the industry as well as the academia. The last DSIAW brought together this wide variety. Knowledge discovery and Data Mining (KDD) will be, is currently being, a key enabler of the digitalization of our industry.

The entire Horizon2020 transport research programme is driven by the overall objective of making “European transport greener, safer, more efficient and innovative“. These challenges were precisely the 4 pillars of the 2017 DSIAW, showing how data can play a key role in achieving them through the application of data science (DS) techniques. The presentations were distributed among these 4 sessions: DS4Environment, DS4Safety, DS4Predictability and innovative DS techniques and supporting tools, illustrating the audience with these initiatives:

DS4Environment: While the development of greener technologies (engines, aerostructures, components, etc) require several coordinated initiatives, data science offers cost-effective solutions based on real figures of fuel burnt and noise pollution. Applying data analytics techniques to these datasets enhances our knowledge of fuel consumption and noise emission patterns, which supports efficient resource use, thus resulting in a emissions reduction to minimize environmental impact. For this theme, Boeing Global Services – Fuel Dashboard solution and the Technical University of Madrid initiatives related to environmental and noise emissions studies.

DS4Safety: The aviation sector’s requirement for high safety levels has always been the main reason to avoid ‘radical’ changes in this industry or, at least, follow a very slow adoption path. Nevertheless, aviation safety has recently become a pioneering area in data science applications. We can’t neglect to mention the significant challenges in this line of research, such as data protection, data merging, pattern detection in rare events, secure data infrastructures, etc, but nonetheless there are very promising initiatives such as: the SafeClouds project coordinated by Innaxis, the EASA Data4Safety programme, or the activities from SafetyData in NLP applied to Occurrence Reports. All projects were presented at the workshop.

DS4Predictability: In air transportation, efficiency is very linked to predictability, and predictability in turn, is highly dependent on data. Improving predictability reduces uncertainty which avoids losses and enables a more efficient aviation system from reducing delays to predicting systems failures. Ongoing studies, such as those presented by the University of Westminster or Atos, are good examples on how data can provoke a deep transformation of common airline procedures, like disruption management or maintenance scheduling.

DS techniques and supporting tools: Different KDD application techniques require appropriate infrastructures as well as supporting techniques that ensure various requirements are met. This includes: data protection, security, computation efficiency, flexibility, scability, etc. During this last workshop, we learned from the Eurocontrol experience in using cloud-based infrastructures. We also learned about the Innaxis spin-off, TADOREA, which shared knowledge on crypto-economics as a potential solution for enabling secure data analytics, while maintaining data privacy.

Still not convinced? Wanting to learn more? Visit the event page to watch the presentations and videos.

Workshop: Digital for Sustainability – In Need of a Disruptive Research Agenda

"Digital Transformation" is the buzz phrase of the day. Since the 1980s an explosive growth has happened in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), and its become pervasive, bringing a perception of tremendous acceleration in technological innovation. There are also high expectations for the role of ICT in sustainable development. Concepts such as disruption, dematerialization and zero marginal costs contribute to the (up to now) false belief that becoming increasingly digital will lead to low resource consumption. However, research shows that the ICT sector itself is not environmentally friendly; it is the fastest growing contributor to emissions, it consumes large amounts of energy, water and critical resources, and produces equally vast amounts of harmful waste with minimal recycling.

To address the generic claim of ICT as contributing to a better and “green” world, there should be mutual recognition and cooperation between digital tech and sustainable development, especially to understand the significant effort needed to harness the power of ICT for human advancement. Digital technologies and sustainability have rarely been analysed together in a rigorous manner. The scientific literature about the nexus of these topics is, up to now worryingly thin, and in many aspects not yet addressing the right questions, much less the responses.

This issue demands a rigorous inquiry of issues at stake and the foundation of a research agenda that builds strong synergies aimed to act beyond current hyped assumptions.

Considering this, Innaxis would like to invite you to the “Digital for Sustainability – In Need of a Disruptive Research Agenda” workshop. This event will be organised during the World Resources Forum on Tuesday 24th October 2017 in Geneva.

The goal of this workshop is to ignite a community of interested parties, who work on interdisciplinary research and action agendas, and to enable the alignment of digital technologies with the goals of sustainable development.

Speakers: Carlos Alvarez Pereira, Ladeja Godina Košir 
Workshop Organisers: Innaxis Research Institute and Texelia AG
Workshop Co-Organiser: Circular Change
Workshop Chairs: Soumaya El Kadiri (Texelia AG) and Joséphine von Mitschke-Collande (Innaxis Research Institute)

Date and time: Tuesday 24th October 2017, 16h30 – 18h30

Centre International de Conferences (CICG)
Rue de Varembé 17
1211 Genève - Switzerland


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