Aircraft travel in well defined airways, at different flight levels depending on direction and also have specific rates of ascend, descend and turn (e.g 2-min turn).
Are there any known models that take these spatial constraints into account and produce a plausible route between two points in space for a given aircraft?
My specific use case is straightforward: I have the current position of an aircraft and a number of alternative endpoints on that route. Instead of drawing straight lines between these alternatives, I would like to draw plausible routes taking into account as many real constraints as it is possible.
I haven't look into how this is implemented in computer games yet (e.g. flightgear) and I could write a simple enough auto-router taking into account the rate constraints. I would however like to know if there are any widely accepted or recommended existing auto-routing models.
In view of comments to this question I would like to clarify the following:
I am not looking for flight-planning algorithms or constrained routing in the sense of optimal paths that are sometimes sought by algorithms such as those used in this paper.
I am looking for routing algorithms whose output is the actual path that if set on an autopilot will bring the aircraft through an endpoint at a specific bearing, level and speed. Ideally, I am looking for "names" in the same sense that the paper linked above states "...some auto-routers for military aircraft do exist including CLOAR, OPUS and JRAPS...".
As a secondary question, do ATC systems have some sort of auto-routing as an aid to operators at busy areas? If yes, then perhaps it would be worth checking if the algorithms are published because I expect they would have to be standardised and validated.
As an example, consider an aircraft that is approaching an airport to land. The aircraft is on a specific course, flight level and speed and it is to be directed to enter the landing pattern at a specific point. An approach would be to extend the entry point's bearing and aircraft's bearing and fit a cycle that corresponds to the 2-min turn to bring the course of the aircraft on the entry point bearing (i.e. smooth the corner of the intersection). If such an intersection is undefined (e.g. the bearings are parallel, or they intersect at a really long distance) then a new leg needs to be added which a) intersects with the current course of the aircraft b) intersects the entry point bearing and c) satisfies other constraint (e.g. shortest distance, no sharp angles, etc). If that is undefined on the side of the entry point a new leg must be added, this leg should a) intersect the given leg at...and so on. This approach will result to a path (not THE path) that respects specific constraints...But obviously the question here is how realistic it will be both for an aircraft to fly but also would a human operator produce a path with similar qualities or reject it altogether? Hence, the question...are there any auto-router algorithms out there already?
- If the general consensus veers more towards a situation where it is very hard to get acurate information on routing models for civilian aircraft, is there a set of minimal parameters that would have to be taken into account when designing a simplistic auto-router that would be more likely to generate plausible paths given two points in space? "Plausible" is defined as "similar to what a human ATC would have directed the airplane to do" or "a path that appears sensible to an average pilot". At the moment I would be considering the rates of ascend, descend and turn.