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White Paper Executive Summary About ADS-B...

ADS-B – is an important, emerging avionics technology forming a key part of air traffic control modernization. As many governments implement plans to transition their ATC Systems away from conventional radar-based technology and over to advanced satellite-based systems, ADS-B allows them to gain enhanced ATC performance and safety, coupled with much lower operating costs. ADS-B is a cornerstone of FAA’s NexGen ATC modernization program.

With ADS-B, aircraft and controllers realize the benefit of enhanced precision and reliability as they move through the skies and “exchange” information. Better yet, it is applicable to all aircraft that use the National Airspace System. As with any global technology introduction and implementation, depending upon where you are, ADS-B may or may not be in use today. But if it is not available right now, it will be soon. Here at home, NAV CANADA has thus far adopted exclusively the 1090ES (ADS-B Out) format, as have all other countries worldwide. The only exception is the USA with their “Dual-Link” ADS-B program.

ADS-B operations commenced domestically in Canada in January 2009 with implementation limited to airspace over Hudson Bay in Northern Canada. In March of 2012 NAV CANADA extended its surveillance to cover a 1.3 million square kilometre portion of airspace over the North Atlantic; the busiest oceanic airspace in the world. ADS-B surveillance has enabled the Gander Area Control Centre to safely reduce separation standards for properly equipped aircraft from approximately 80 NM to initially 10 NM. This gives air traffic controllers the ability to handle far more aircraft in the airspace safely, and provide these aircraft with more cost-effective flight profiles, including earlier climbs to fuel-efficient altitudes. Anyone flying into US airspace has until January 1, 2020 to be fully ADS-B compliant. For Canadians, aircraft with a 1090ES Transponder and approved interfaces will be compliant with US operating requirements; however those who frequent US skies under 18,000’ may also opt for a UAT.

The European mandate, in broad terms, requires 1090ES ADS-B Out with a Diversity Mode-S transponder. The deadline for having this capability is 1/8/15 for new aircraft and 12/7/17 for retrofits. Also note that it only applies to aircraft >12,500lbs or with a max cruise >250kts TAS. Depending upon which country your operations will take you to, or overfly, the availability of ADS-B today is varied but changing quickly. Section 5.0 of this paper provides a country-by-country current status of who is offering what and when added service would be coming on line.

Asia is offering ADS-B service but presently only on specific High Density Routes (see section 5.0 for details). Progress for additional introductions is moving at a slow pace.

Australia is the first country with full, continental ADS-B coverage, though only above FL300. Air traffic controllers there are authorized to provide 5 NM separation services using ADS-B data from all Australian operational sites. Foreign aircraft must now obtain operational approval from their state of registry before delivery of ADS-B services is approved. Post December 2013, ADS-B is mandatory at and above FL290. Hence approvals need to be obtained before that time.

ADS-B Systems are considered critical to safety in the National Airspace System. Accordingly to be compliant with the ADS-B requirement(s), all hardware will have to be TSO’d, and all interfaces approved at both the hardware and software levels. Certification is expected to be rigorous, and installation will almost certainly be the domain of the appropriately rated avionics Repair Station or AMO. As to the future, in July of 2012, Iridium Communications and NAV CANADA announced a planned joint venture. This new relationship promises to offer worldwide ADS-B-based air traffic surveillance services using the upcoming Iridium “Next” satellite network. These satellites begin launching in 2015 and will be completed in 2017.

The Iridium-NAV CANADA joint venture is called Aireon. It will add 1090ES ADS-B receivers to each of the 66 satellites (and backups) destined to form the Iridium “Next” constellation. The low-earth-orbiting Iridium satellites will offer worldwide coverage, including Polar Regions, and with the ADS-B payloads will provide complete visibility to all aircraft everywhere. This will help ANSP’s (air navigation service providers) increase efficiencies. This new capability will extend the benefits of current radar-based surveillance systems (which presently cover less than 10 percent of the world) to entire planet coverage. Aireon is expected to become operational in 2018.

For a more complete understanding of ADS-B, please continue reading the rest of this paper (PDF File attached) or feel welcome to contact Barry Aylward at Kitchener Aero or Bill Arsenault at Mid-Canada Mod Center.
Download this document in PDF format here.