The POM team of DSNA/DTI/R&D

The POM team aims at studying the problems related to the modelization and the optimization of the Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems.

It is part of the Research & Development domain of the technical direction DTI of the french DSNA (Direction des Services de la Navigation Aérienne), which is the air traffic services provider, within the DGAC (Direction Générale de l'Aviation Civile, the french civil aviation authority).

It is located on the campus scientifique de Rangueil, in Toulouse (France), on the ENAC site (the french civil aviation school).


Solving a conflict involving 12 aircraft with a genetic algorithm.
You may try our interactive conflict solver in Java to build your own conflicts and see how the algorithm solves them.

The Air Traffic Management (ATM) is a source of big and complex optimization problems, combining highly automated operations with human actions taken in an uncertain environnment (meteo, partial information, and so on). A typical example is the conflict resolution task handled by the air traffic controllers, but there are other examples like the departure slots allocation, or the routes and airspace design, at a more strategic level.

In the kind of problems we are adressing, the criteria to optimize cannot always be expressed as simple mathematical functions: the objective function may in fact be assessed by a simulation run.

Standard methods are used when possible: departure and arrival sequences may be optimized using a branch and bound algorithm, a neural network may be trained on sectors opening schemes, learning methods may be tried to improve the aircraft trajectory prediction. In some cases, only meta-heuristics prove efficient. This is the case for the optimization of the routes network, the partitionning of the airspace into qualification zones, the optimization of the taxiing time on the airport apron, or the aircraft conflict resolution problem.

The POM team has reached a high level of expertise in the field of evolutionary algorithms. We introduced some new genetic operators, fit to partially separable problems like those frequently encountered in the ATM field. The POM team is also competent in learning methods (neural networks), statistics and probabilities (rare events models, Monte-carlo simulations), and air transportation economic models (modeling of scarce resources like departure slots, cost functions applied to Air Traffic Management)

The origins

The POM team was created in february 2007, when the french Air Navigation Services were reorganized. Following the merging of the CENA (Centre d'Etudes de la Navigation Aérienne) and the technical centre STNA (Service Technique de la Navigation Aérienne) into a single entity called DTI (Direction de la Technique et de l'Innovation), the Global Optimization Laboratory (LOG) ceased to exist as a common structure between the CENA and the french civil aviation school (ENAC).

The POM team was mainly composed, at the beginning, of people from the former CENA that worked at the LOG, but also, for two of them, at the LEEA (Laboratoire d'Economie et d'Econométrie de l'Aérien) and the ERMA (Equipe de Recherche en Mathématiques Appliquées) from ENAC.

You may refer to the general presentation of the organisation and the objectives of the DTI. You will find more details on the french civil aviation authority DGAC, from which the DTI, DSNA, and also the ENAC depend, on the official DGAC web site.

POM website contents

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