The US Department of Transportation plans to contract with Sensis Corporation to upgrade the company's Airport Surface Detection Equipment - Model X (ASDE-X) runway incursion prevention system being currently installed at New York Kennedy airport.
While ASDE-X is principally billed as a runway incursion preventative, the Kennedy system is being augmented with multilateration sensors in the central ramp area as part of the US-European Atlantic Interoperability initiative to Reduce Emissions (AIRE).
Launched at the Paris air show in June, AIRE is a demonstration programme for a near-term gate-to-gate initiative to reduce emissions and fuel burn for international flights.
Surface operations will also be conducted at Memphis starting in February 2008. AIRE'S airborne pilot programmes will target more efficient oceanic tracks over the Atlantic and "green" arrivals at airports in Atlanta, Miami and San Francisco, with demonstrations also commencing in 2008.
ASDE-X methodically combines radar, ground-based multilateration sensors, aircraft transponders, automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) and other surveillance techniques with airport-specific software to provide controllers with advanced warning of 50 or more types for collisions between aircraft or other vehicles on the airport surface. ASDE-X is currently operational at 11 airports and is scheduled for installation at 24 additional sites.
The Kennedy environmental trial will take advantage of ASDE-X's ability to accurately track aircraft at all locations around the airport, with position data being made available to the FAA, airlines and the airport in an attempt to optimise taxi routes and hence reduce fuel burn and emissions. The FAA expects to begin the surface trials in June while the ASDE-X system as a whole will not be operational for runway incursion prevention until September.