Hundreds of air traffic management professionals have converged on Amsterdam this week for the ATC Global conference to discuss airspace modernization efforts and unveil new technologies aimed at improving efficiency and safety and reducing aviation’s impact on the environment.
Vendors from around the world demonstrated technologies ranging from air traffic controller displays in the towers to Web-based flight tracking and management systems, all designed to allow safer and more efficient operation of aircraft.
Among the developments:
- ITT Exelis demonstrated the latest version of its Web-based OpsVue flight tracking and situational awareness system, utilizing data from the ASDE-X network and company’s Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) network. Version 1.7 doubles the data tags, adds new airports, adds real-time identify and annotation of VFR aircraft and is built used a service-oriented architecture compatible with FAA’s System Wide Information Management (SWIM) program. Ted Carniol, ITT Exelis general manager, commercial aviation solutions, air traffic management, said it provides a National Airspace-wide view of traffic, providing a 3-D image on a single display of operations at 32 of the 35 ASDE-X airports. Future versions of the OpsVue system, slated for April, will include full historical data and replay capabilities. ITT said it will be releasing an iPad app for the system this month, an Android version in April and an iPhone app in May. ITT added that in February it marked the installation of its 400th ADS-B radio installation; all ADS-B radios will be installed by the end of 2013, the company said.
- Raytheon unveiled a software add-on for ATC radars to mitigate the interference from wind farm turbines. The software, added to Raytheon’s radar systems, will “clean up the picture for the controller so they’re getting only clean, safe return from that area,” said Robert Meyer, business development manager, air traffic management, at Raytheon. The system is a much more cost effective solution over replacing the radar system, characterizing the cost differential between hundreds of thousands of dollars for the software and millions of dollars to replace the radar, Meyer said.
- Additionally, Raytheon unveiled its Mobile Air Traffic Control (MATC) system, designed for security and humanitarian missions where temporary ATC services are needed. The system consists of a primary and secondary ATC radars and deployable antenna and data communications. The system, which can be set up in a “handful of hours,” can be transported by a pair of C-130s, the company said.
- Saab Sensis was selected to provide its wide area multilateration system for surveillance flights operating in close proximity of the Lotte World Tower being constructed near the Seoul Air Force Base in Korea.
- Spanish air navigation service provider Entidad Pública Aeropuertos Españoles y Navegación Aérea (AENA) selected SITA to upgrade its air to ground radio network to meet European requirement for data link services. The regulations relate to the deployment of VHF Digital Link (VDL) Mode 2, in conjunction with the Aeronautical Telecommunication Network (ATN).The agreement covers the upgrade of 27 VHF ground stations, which AENA acquired from SITA in 2002, and the deployment of 11 new stations. It also includes the delivery of an independent VDLm2 frequency, and ATN infrastructure, monitoring platform from ALTYS Technologies.