Worldwide Aeronautical Route Planner (WARP)
WARP is an optimizing aircraft route planning engine that is deployed as the core of the Advanced Computer Flight Planner (ACFP) route planning system in operation at the U.S. Air Force’s Air Mobility Command. ACFP is used to route cargo aircraft worldwide in addition to mid-air refuelling operations.
WARP uses sophisticated search techniques to produce routes that minimize the burn of fuel while satisfying all other flight constraints. The routing process factors in the effects of weather, aircraft performance, and airspace restrictions. WARP can also determine the optimal fuel load required to accomplish a mission and/or the maximum payload that can be carried.
The map above shows a route produced by WARP for a flight from Dover Air Force Base in the United States to Ramstein Air Base in Germany. It saves thousands of pounds of fuel when compared with other contending routes, including the shortest-distance route between the airports. WARP is believed to save the USAF tens of millions of pounds of fuel every year.
WARP lets flight planners specify a variety of parameters, including:
Although it must accommodate non-linearities and non-monotonicities in aircraft performance data, and in many cases optimize fuel burn while simultaneously maximizing payload carrying capacity, WARP typically solves even complicated route requests in less than 30 seconds.