Rockwell Collins completes flight tests for FAA's TESIS program

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Rockwell Collins has completed flight-testing of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) and cockpit display of traffic information (CDTI) for surface operations under the FAA’s Test and Evaluation Surveillance Information System (TESIS).

The tests, conducted at Memphis airport in Tennessee and involving an FAA test aircraft, included among their goals the evaluation of prototype moving maps for airport surface situational awareness and the definition of product certification requirements.

Data from the TESIS tests, performed as part of the FAA’s Safe Flight 21 program and which Rockwell Collins says it completed successfully, will aid the development of certifiable equipment and of functions that provide operators with improved situational awareness, including airborne and ground operations displays of traffic information.

The TESIS tests evaluated Rockwell Collins’ TPR-901 Mode S transponder, which features the 1090MHz extended squitter (1090ES) function that transmits ADS-B information via data link to and from the aircraft’s traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS) receiver.

In the Rockwell Collins tests, ADS-B information from other aircraft and from a ground-based traffic information surveillance-broadcast (TIS-B) station was integrated with TCAS sensor data and displayed on a Rockwell Collins 12.5cm (5in) liquid crystal multi-function display installed in the cockpit of the FAA aircraft. TIS-B uses multilateration sensors and surface radar to identify the positions of aircraft.

Rockwell Collins was an active participant in the first two major FAA/airline US trials of ADS-B, held in cooperation with the Cargo Airline Association in the so-called Ohio River Valley project. The first operational evaluation (OpEval 1) was held in Wilmington, Ohio in 1999 and OpEval 2 was hosted by UPS at Louisville, Kentucky in 2000. These trials formed the preparatory work for the TESIS program.