[Avionics Magazine 11-16-2016] Germany’s Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP) Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH (DFS) has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Aireon to evaluate the safety, efficiency and cost benefits of space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) in their airspace.
The DFS Muncher Air Traffic Control Center. Photo: DFS.
Like many other European ANSPs, DFS has complete air traffic surveillance coverage, including a mix of ground-based radar, ADS-B and multilateration stations. The MoA will allow DFS to evaluate options for potentially optimizing the replacement of some legacy equipment that requires expensive upkeep. In addition, they will investigate the establishment of an independent contingency service for enhanced redundancy, which can be used to have a consistent air traffic surveillance feed, according to Aireon.
“DFS is keen to explore the potential benefits that space-based ADS-B can bring to the region. This is not only for enhanced safety, but also increased efficiency. It could provide us with another layer of surveillance in the event of an outage or interruption,” said Ralf Bertsch, Director Planning and Innovation, DFS. “We are also looking at the benefits that Aireon’s data could offer for all of Europe. This could allow us to optimize the usage of legacy ATS surveillance systems.”
Aireon’s space-based ADS-B service will be operational in 2018, shortly after the completion of the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation. The constellation will consist of 66 operational low-earth-orbit satellites providing 100 percent global coverage.