Established flight planning using  on shortest path algorithms on airway networks face a performance challenge in growing free-flight zones, which lead to excessively large graphs. In theses situations, continuous optimal control techniques promise shorter run times, but provide only local optima. In this project, we investigate the structural relations between discrete and continuous optima and develop efficient hybrid algorithms.

A 2D flight directory in spatially inhomogeneous wind.

In a growing number of free flight zones, which ideally allow airlines to take any route they prefer, conventional network algorithms are facing a great challenge. As this kind of problem can be solved more efficiently with the tools of continuous optimization, we are investigating how we can incorporate the expretise of this research group and develop novel hybrid algorithms.