JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. --- An industry team led by BAE Systems has achieved a major step toward the next-generation air traffic management system by successfully completing taxi and airborne trials in Germany. The system recently completed airborne trials in Italy.
In a series of taxi trials performed at the Braunschweig airport under the MA-AFAS (More Autonomous Aircraft in the Future Air Traffic Management System) program, the system demonstrated its capability to monitor for runway incursions at busy airports. Using an ATTAS (Advanced Technologies Test Aircraft System) aircraft owned by the German aerospace research organization DLR, the tests displayed to the pilot an airport map showing aircraft positions. The ground controller generated a taxi route, including halt points, that was uplinked to the aircraft, where it was overlayed on the map to enable to the pilot to negotiate the route.
MA-AFAS is led by BAE Systems Avionic Systems, Rochester, U.K., with participation by these companies:
--Avionics: Galileo Avionica, Euro Telematik AG, Skysoft
--ATC equipment: AMS, Indra, THALES ATM
--Research organizations: QinteQ, Eurocontrol Experimental Centre, NLR, DLR, Sofreavia, Stasys
--ATM service providers: NATS, Swedish CAA, ENAV
--Communications: Airtel-ATN, Frequentis, Saab TransponderTech
In earlier Airborne Separation Assurance System (ASAS) trials in Italy, the aircraft demonstrated the core functions defined in ASAS Package 1. With the aircraft operating at the same flight level, the test carried out pass behind and merge behind maneuvers using VHF Data Link Mode 4 to enable the aircraft to see each other regardless of weather conditions.
The pass-behind maneuvers provided the air traffic controller with an additional instruction to manage converging aircraft. When two aircraft were identified as converging, the controller instructed one aircraft to identify, and then pass behind, the other, with a defined minimum spacing of six nautical miles. The system allows the pilot to select the aircraft, which is highlighted on the navigation display, computing a new trajectory that avoids the target and returns the aircraft to its original route.
ASAS functions have been defined in three packages, with Package 1 recommended for early implementation by the European Commission and the Joint User Requirements Group, JAFTI Committee. ASAS is one of the key components in the European strategy to increase airspace capacity over the next 10 years. It is specified in both the Eurocontrol ATM 2000 Plus Strategy and European Union Vision 2020 documents.
The Airborne Separation Assurance System has great potential for improving Europe's air traffic management system, and the trials completed to date represent a significant achievement for this team, said Sue Wood, managing director of BAE Systems Avionic Systems. Increasing the availability and safety of Europe's increasingly crowded airspace is a goal we all share, and BAE Systems is proud to be part of this achievement.
BAE Systems has major operations across five continents and customers in some 130 countries. The company has 100,000 people and generates annual sales of approximately $18 billion through its wholly owned and joint-venture operations.
BAE Systems North America is a high-technology U.S. company employing more than 25,000 people who live and work in some 30 states, the District of Columbia, and the United Kingdom. The company is dedicated to solving its customers' needs with highly innovative and leading-edge solutions across the defense electronics, systems, information technology, and services arenas.
BAE-Led Team Details Progress In Air Traffic Management