UPS certifies cockpit display combining ADS-B & TCAS

Washington DC
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UPS 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.

The 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.

This 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.

The 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.

“There’s 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.”