LUFTHANSA SYSTEMS FLIGHT PLANNING SOFTWARE RELIES ON LUCIAD DATA VISUALIZATION
Airlines are working harder than ever to save money, while ensuring the safety of their passengers. With Lido/Flight WINDS, Lufthansa Systems helps airlines achieve this by supplying pilots with information to avoid costly delays and obstacles in the air.
With Luciad’s powerful visualization platform, Lufthansa Systems provides an interactive, easy-to-understand tool with Lido/Flight WINDS.
CLIMATE, HIGH AIR TRAFFIC DENSITY PUSH FOR CHANGE
Lufthansa Systems, a subsidiary of Lufthansa Airlines, started supporting the operational needs of airlines in 1995. The weather along the U.S. East Coast is generally unpredictable. Storms can develop there within hours. Airlines that could avoid diversions because of storm fronts would save tens of thousands of dollars each time. With a tool like Lido/Flight WINDS dispatchers can react to storm predictions to alert pilots who would otherwise not know about.
Supported by the dispatcher, pilots can make minor adjustments to correct their course hours ahead of landing. They arrive with minimum delay at the destination airport right after the storm has passed over. Meanwhile without this technology, other aircraft are forced to land far away and take care of a lot of passengers in order to get them to their original destinations. Global warming and higher traffic density make this kind of scenario to be expected with increasing probability. That’s why Lufthansa Systems decided to extend their product, Lido/ Flight, with a decision support system, called WINDS (Weather INformation Decision Support).
Leaders wanted to integrate more dynamic data so pilots would know about changes in conditions while in the air. Lufthansa Systems called on Luciad for visualization solutions.
“Today we can display 70 different overlay maps,” says Christoph Krüger, Lead Architect of Lido.
Lido/Flight WINDS pulls data from many more sources than traditional flight planning solutions. Flight crews benefit from information about weather, environmental threats such as volcanic ash, back-ups at airports, regulations and military operations.
In the past, pilots received flight plans, confirmed with air traffic control, three hours before their flight. With Lido/Flight WINDS, pilots receive real-time information about impediments in their path. Professionals on the ground simultaneously monitor planes and data from Lido. They relay information about situations affecting their flight safety and fuel consumption. Before a plane leaves the ground, a dispatcher provides trajectory optimization, fuel calculation, and a briefing on weather and regulations. Optimization usually takes just 30 seconds thanks to the power of Lido/Flight. The dynamic integration of aeronautical data provides pilots with superior route optimization.
“During optimization, we not only take into account geospatial data such as way points, we also take into account georeferences such as air pressure, air temperature, humidity, fuel prices and overflight charges,” Krüger says.
“Normally, a pilot sitting in a cockpit, has about 130 kilometers in sight. If you have someone on the ground with Lido/Flight’s decision-support system, the pilot can look thousands of kilometers in advance!”
Another benefit—the availability of better data has improved job satisfaction for flight dispatchers. They once were flightmonitors. Today, they are problem-solvers.
“With Lido/Flight WINDS, the dispatcher gets alerts and detailed information allowing him to give the best possible advice, using the very best visualization software and integrating data from several sources," Krüger says. "The system of airways, way points, and regulations is far too complicated for human beings, so we need computers to do it.”
One of the greatest advantages of Lido/Flight WINDS is the ability to predict challenges.
Lufthansa Systems chose Luciad as a partner because of its exceptional capabilities in geospatial situational awareness solutions. Luciad is the world leader in geospatial solutions for the aviation and defense industries. Major clients include Boeing, Airbus, NATO and Eurocontrol.
When it was time to include more dynamic data in its flight planning solution, Lufthansa Systems didn’t want to start from scratch. Leaders found a product by Lockheed Martin called WINDS. It provided much of what they sought. In 2011, they engaged Luciad as a partner. Lido/Flight WINDS was on its way to being a change-maker in aviation operations. Today, Lido/ Flight WINDS gives pilots and their flight crews 11 million position updates per day.
Lufthansa Systems takes advantage of Luciad’s many attributes. This includes:
- The ability to combine any number of data layers and connect to any data source.
- Visualization in 2D, 3D and even 4D.
- Mapping the factor of time.
- The power to handle dynamic data such as video feeds and weather data.
- GPU-accelerated visual analytics. For example, the impact of weather events on the number of phone calls people make.
- Flexible deployment and licensing.
- The most experienced and committed geospatial solutions experts in the industry.
- Opportunity to embed Luciad in their solution as a white label product.
In 2016, Lufthansa Systems decided to expand their Web capabilities. The interface of the Cloud is the solution for the future, Krüger says. The company relies on Luciad for their interface with life-saving, cost-cutting data.