Airbus supports safer aircraft landings with ELISE

A new specialised consulting service offered by Airbus will help improve the safety of landing operations at airports around the world, leveraging the capabilities of its advanced ELISE (Exact Landing Interference Simulation Environment) software.

24 February 2012 Feature story

Developed by Airbus in partnership with EADS Innovation Works – the research and development arm of Airbus parent EADS – along with France’s Ecole Nationale de l'Aviation Civile civil aeronautics academy, this technology eliminates disturbances to an airport’s ground-based Instrument Landing System (ILS) signal – which can be sensitive to interference caused by objects near the runway, including other aircraft, buildings and construction elements.

In addition to raising safety levels during landing operations – particularly in flying conditions with low or no visibility – ELISE also can enable increased runway capacity as well as the optimisation of airside land usage – allowing for “stealth” buildings to be built nearby without disrupting the facility’s Instrument Landing System. 

"Objects close to a runway create 'multipath' signals by re-routing the electro-magnetic pulse emitted by an ILS antenna," explained Laurent Evain, the ELISE programme’s technical manager. "This confuses an approaching aircraft and can lead to deviation from its path, exposing it to risk of lateral veer-off. ELISE eliminates that risk."

The technology has been offered as an Airbus consulting service since the beginning of 2012. To date, the ELISE team has received a contract for Vienna International Airport, and it is in advanced discussions with airports in Bahrain, Malta and Warsaw, Poland. ELISE also is being used by the International Civil Aviation Organisation to support the updating of ILS regulations.

ELISE already has proven its capabilities to support airport operations, having successfully been deployed to predict the double-deck A380’s effect on the Instrument Landing System for Toulouse-Blagnac Airport – which is located near Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse, France.

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