EASN Thematic Structure

A Working Group consisting of NLR, QinetiQ and ONERA constructed the ASTERA taxonomy for aeronautical R&T. This is a hierarchical taxonomy that builds upon existing European structuring efforts, such as the GARTEUR taxonomy and EUROCONTROL's ARDEP taxonomy.

The ASTERA taxonomy has been defined, reviewed and agreed upon by a considerable group of experts from different fields within the European aeronautics community. This has given the taxonomy a strong foundation. Therefore EASN uses and if necessary modifies this taxonomy in order to approach a classification of university activities in the field of aeronautics.



Security Equipment

Systems for the detection and neutralisation of threats posed by weapons and explosives. Includes the use of advanced technology to eliminate the ability of terrorists to conceal improvised explosive devices, weapons, and flammable gas or liquid explosives on aircraft. Achieved by processing passengers, crew, baggage and cargo through weapons and explosives detection machines: portals for people to walk through, portable machines for screeners to use, and bulk screening for cargo and baggage.

1. Secure communications links between key parts in the aviation security system.
2. Containerised/Palletised Inspection Systems.
3. Trace and Bulk Explosive Detection (e.g. thermal neutron analysis (TNA), CTX machines, canine searches).
4. Weapon Detection (e.g. metal detectors, passive millimetre wave imaging, invasive ionising radiation (X-rays) ).


Crisis management

It is necessary for the aviation security system to be able to respond appropriately to a wide range of different incidents. The effective management of such crises will require the integration of the efforts of all security systems and personnel involved.

1. Operational planning tools (including decision-support systems).
2. Interactive computer-based systems to model the effects of major incidents, to allow staff the opportunity to practise and develop their responsibilities, to stress networks, and to establish weak points in the chain of aviation security in a "safe" environment.


Airport External Safety

Quantitative probabilistic assessment of risk to the population in the vicinity of an airport. The risk is composed of the following three submodels: accident probability per movement, the accident location and the resulting lethality. The risk can be expressed in terms of individual risk and / or societal risk, meaning risk imposed to a group of a certain size.

1. Development of methods, (sub)models and software tools to assess risk to the population in the vicinity of airports.
2. Risk assessments using these tools.
3. Support to development of appropriate risk tolerability criteria.
4. Validation and evaluation of risk models and data.
5. Collection of input data: population, aircraft movements, aircraft routes, historical accident data, terrain data.


Airport Security

Airport security measures are the physical protection measures required in order to protect aircraft, airport staff, passengers and crew when on the ground. This includes blocking terrorist access to the aircraft when on the ground. Specific technologies are addressed in the "Security Equipment" area.

1. Surveillance systems - sensors (e.g. CCTV, radar/RF, IR, visual).
2. Surveillance systems - processing (e.g. image motion stabilisation, automatic recognition of faces/number plates, video tracking).
3. Passenger profiling, co-ordinated with law enforcement and intelligence databases, to detect possible terrorists and other security risks. Passengers flagged as high-risk should be diverted to a screening process with more intensive human interaction and sophisticated detection equipment. Possible establishment of pool of pre-screened passengers who can be processed through airport security more quickly.
4. Passenger identification and verification (e.g. biometrics - voice recognition, face recognition, hand geometry, fingerprints, iris recognition).
5. Development of systems for strict accountability for luggage loaded on aircraft (e.g. Positive Passenger Bag Matching - PPBM).
6. Tracking of cargo and baggage within the airport (e.g. RFID tags).
7. Physical protection measures to prevent unauthorised entry into secure areas.