Sensis, Honeywell Test Crew Alert System

By | August 15, 2007
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Sensis Corp., Syracuse, N.Y., and Honeywell are partnered on a technology demonstration of a crew alerting system that would protect against runway incursions. The system tested by the two companies would communicate ground-based incursion alerts from FAA’s Airport Surface Detection Equipment, Model X (ASDE-X) surveillance radar via Mode S data link to an aircraft’s Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) unit. Flight crews initially would be provided with audible alerts of pending runway conflicts; in the future, visual representations of runway traffic are a possibility. Sensis and Honeywell officials said the alerting system requires no hardware modification to either ASDE-X or TCAS. They said the joint project aims to address the issue of runway incursions, one of the National Transportation Safety Board’s “most wanted” items, sooner rather than later. “This is an effort to bootstrap some progress relatively quickly,” said Rick Berckefeldt, marketing manager for safety systems with Honeywell Aerospace. “This is a technology demonstration — it’s not a product launch. It’s strictly about what’s possible.” The alerting system was tested in May using Honeywell King Air and Sabreliner aircraft operating at Syracuse Hancock International Airport, where FAA has an ASDE-X test facility. ASDE-X fuses data from surface surveillance radar, multilateration sensors, Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) sensors and aircraft transponders to provide air-traffic controllers with the position and identification of aircraft and vehicles on the airport surface as well as aircraft within five miles of the airport. FAA plans to have 10 operational ASDE-X systems by the end of fiscal 2007. Overall, 35 major airports will be equipped.

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