ATM Modernization, Commercial

NAVBLUE Launches Enhanced N-Tracking for Flight Monitoring

By Frank Wolfe | December 19, 2019
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Airbus' NAVBLUE has launched an enhanced version of its N-Tracking software to trace flights. (Airbus Photo)

Airbus' Canadian-based NAVBLUE has launched an improved version of its N-Tracking software for flight monitoring, the company said on Dec. 18.

Last November, the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) amended aircraft tracking standards for implementing ICAO’s Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS) went into effect. The standards came in response to the still unsolved disappearance of Malaysia Airlines MH370 in March, 2014.

Last year's GADSS standards implementation "has elevated the importance of real-time flight-following and situational-awareness," NAVBLUE said. "GADSS requires airlines to receive continuous position reports from all airborne aircraft every 15 minutes in normal operations and every one minute in abnormal operations across all geographies. Depending on an airlines’ aircraft crew and areas of operations, this can be a costly requirement to satisfy."

Fielded in 2015, NAVBLUE's N-Tracking, part of the N-OCC suite, features a browser-based aircraft situational display that provides real-time flight monitoring, situational awareness and en-route communications. The system can furnish configurable automated alerts, real-time weather and flight hazard updates, airport capacity information, and surface tracking to permit gate-to-gate situational awareness, NAVBLUE said.

The enhanced version of N-Tracking involves a partnership among NAVBLUE, Airbus AirSense, FlightAware, the Federal Aviation Administration, Eurocontrol and Aireon space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B).

"Working with Airbus AirSense, FlightAware and Aireon, N-Tracking has access to and can intelligently prioritize between ADS-B (terrestrial and space-based), ASDE-X [Airport Surface Detection System — Model X], multilateration ATC [air traffic control] feeds, FAA and Eurocontrol data and ACARS [Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System] position data to provide the most cost-effective and accurate surveillance, as well weather and flight hazard forecasts from DTN," according to NAVBLUE.

NAVBLUE officials said that N-Tracking represents next generation technology to trace flights.

Carina Schnitzenbaumer, the head of AirSense, said that the enhanced N-Tracking system "is a huge step towards a more digital, efficient airspace," while Daniel Baker, the CEO of FlightAware, said that the "fusion of real-time terrestrial ADS-B data from FlightAware and space-based ADS-B from Aireon will enable N-Tracking customers to satisfy their most demanding operational and regulatory requirements.”


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