Business & GA, Commercial

Raytheon Eyes International ADS-B Standard

By Tish Drake | March 6, 2007
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Raytheon is proposing an international standard for the FAA’s automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) program, a move it says will reduce equipment costs and improve safety. Aircraft equipped with the ADS-B technology continuously broadcast location, airspeed and identification information to air traffic controllers. These transmissions will provide a highly accurate air traffic picture to controllers and pilots of other ADS-B equipped aircraft. Raytheon proposes a system that will transmit weather information to the cockpit using the XM WX Satellite Weather Service. The surveillance system will use U.K. defense giant QinetiQ's radio design, carried on Verizon's nationwide telecommunications network, while using existing Arinc and Verizon air-ground radio and cellular towers. "The Raytheon team solution uses a single frequency that is becoming the standard around the world as opposed to utilizing two different frequencies, one for commercial aircraft and another for general aviation," said Andy Zogg, vice president of Raytheon's Airspace Management and Homeland Security business. Last month, Raytheon was one of the three lead companies selected by the FAA to move forward with its ADS-B proposals. The other teams are headed by Lockheed Martin and ITT Corp. The Raytheon team consists of Verizon Business, Arinc, QinetiQ, XM Satellite Radio, Booz Allen Hamilton, Sun Microsystems and Intelligent Automation. Last month, the FAA’s Joint Resources Council (JRC), a team of top FAA executives that reviews major acquisitions, approved funding for ADS-B, which it considers to be the backbone of the Next Generation Air Transportation System. In July, after the contract is negotiated, the JRC will review the business model in the proposed contract. Based on a successful JRC investment decision, the agency will award the contract for establishing the ADS-B ground infrastructure and providing broadcast services. This will be a performance-based contract in which the FAA will pay “subscription” charges for the ADS-B services and the vendor will be responsible for building and maintaining the infrastructure. For related news

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