ATM Modernization, Military

Northrop Grumman Tests Flight Data System

By Tish Drake | March 23, 2010
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Northrop Grumman said Tuesday it installed a demonstration Real-Time Electronic Flight Data System (REFS) for the U.S. Air Force that will create a more efficient flight information system for air traffic controllers.

REFS is a Terminal Flight Data Management (TFDM) system comprising several modules that automates the production, distribution and administrative management of flight plan information and other air traffic control data. This is the first operational TFDM system installed in the U.S. at Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls, Texas, according to the company. Northrop Grumman’s teammates on the project include NavCanada, Ottawa, Canada; and Sunhillo, West Berlin, N.J.

The system facilitates inter- and intra-facility coordination within and between the FAA En Route Air Traffic Control Center in Fort Worth, Texas, and various facilities at Sheppard Air Force Base including radar approach, control, air traffic control tower, base operations and emergency response services.

"With REFS, controllers will no longer have to rely on a labor-intensive paper flight strip system," said Catherine Kuenzel, vice president of Federal Mission Programs for Northrop Grumman’s Civil Systems division. 

FAA certified REFS for operation in the National Airspace System in June 2009.

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