Aviation Technologies (UPSAT) has secured US FAA certification for a new
cockpit display that combines automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast
(ADS-B) and traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS) technologies.
new cockpit display of traffic information (CDTI) shows surveillance
information from UPSAT’s previously certified ADS-B system and data from TCASs
manufactured by other avionics suppliers. UPSAT is trying to sell the newly
certified CDTI to airlines that already have TCAS and are looking to provide
their pilots with improved traffic surveillance information.
sales strategy marks a shift away from UPSAT’s initial intent to sell ADS-B as
a stand-alone alternative solution to TCAS. But UPSAT lost last year a battle
with the FAA to certify ADS-B’s see- and-avoid capability as a TCAS
alternative, forcing the carrier to acquire TCAS units from ACSS to meet an FAA
mandate requiring TCAS on large freighters by November 2003. UPS is in the
process of installing a TCAS/ADS-B combo on its fleet of 103 Boeing 757s and
767s, and tested the CDTI combining the two technologies on a 757 last month.
CDTI provides terrain, navigational and weather radar information and alerts
pilots to potential conflicting traffic in the air. UPSAT plans to later add an
ADS-B-based moving map surface function to the CDTI, providing information on
ground traffic that could help avert runway incursions.
growing interest in ADS-B from airline operators who have TCAS in their
aircraft already,” says UPSAT general manager John Macnab. “The system will
improve pilot situational awareness, both in the air and on the airport
surface, and will enable a host of operational enhancements that will improve
safety and benefit airline operations.”