Airservices Australia has called for
tenders for 20 automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) ground
stations to be installed across Australia as part of a wide-ranging deployment
of the technology.
Transport minister John Anderson
announced plans for the rollout of ADS-B by national air traffic services
provider Airservices at a conference in Canberra today. He says the intention
is for the technology to be deployed by the end of 2005.
“Australia has never had air traffic
control radar coverage across the whole continent, because of its immense cost
and the relatively small number of aircraft that fly across the centre of our
country,” says Anderson.
“I am announcing today that
Airservices Australia will establish 20 ground stations across regional and
remote Australia for a new air traffic control technology called automatic
dependent surveillance-broadcast, or ADS-B. Aircraft using the system will be
fitted with an enhancement to their radar transponder, which will transmit
satellite navigation data to the ground stations along with other information
including the identity of the aircraft, its altitude and speed.”
The system will be used to track
domestic and international flights operating above 30,000ft (9,150m). Data will
be transmitted through the ground stations to Airservices’ major control
centres, where it will be integrated with the country’s national air traffic
control system, The Australian Advanced Air Traffic System (TAAATS).
Anderson adds that the ADS-B system
“will cover virtually the entire continent at a fraction of the cost of
installing and maintaining conventional radar systems”.
Airservices will be rolling out ADS-B
following trials on the technology in the airspace surrounding Bundaberg, in
the eastern state of Queensland, which it says have been a “huge success”. The
project is expected to cost more than A$10 million ($6.7 million).
With ADS-B, aircraft avionics
automatically broadcast aircraft position, altitude, velocity and other data
via digital datalink. This can then be used by other aircraft and air traffic
control to show the aircraft’s position and altitude without the need for radar.
Under the current system, in areas not covered by radar, air traffic
controllers use reports from pilots to estimate the position of aircraft.
“The ADS-B system will increase
safety by enabling air traffic controllers to pinpoint precisely the aircraft
equipped with the system,” says Anderson.
“It will also reduce air traffic
control delays, because controllers will be able to safely space aircraft
closer together, resulting in optimum flight altitudes.”