UPS Aviation Technologies has won a supplemental type
certificate (STC) from the FAA for installation of its AT7000 Mode S data link
transponder on a UPS Boeing 757 equipped with a traffic alert and collision
avoidance system (TCAS).
The company has designed the AT7000 transponder to meet
current and future data link requirements, including Europe’s elementary and
enhanced surveillance programs and international automatic dependent
surveillance – broadcast (ADS-B) initiatives.
Last week the FAA chose the 1090MHz extended squitter
(1090ES) data link standard, which is based on Mode S technology, as its future
ADS-B standard for high-altitude en route operations in US airspace involving
commercial jets and other large aircraft.
As a result of their common Mode S technology, UPS says the
AT7000 is capable of supporting the new ADS-B applications the FAA is
developing for surface and airborne traffic surveillance of aircraft.
“New airspace management processes will require Mode S
transponders to perform in ways that are beyond the capabilities of many
transponders currently installed on transport aircraft,” says UPS Aviation
Technologies’ general manager, John Macnab. “In many cases it is more
economical to replace aging equipment with the AT7000 than to upgrade older
transponders. In other cases the existing transponders are incapable of being
European air traffic control authorities will require
transport aircraft operating in Europe to equip with Mode S transponders over
the next three years, to meet their elementary and enhanced surveillance
program requirements. These will call for Mode S transponders to collect,
process and downlink a variety of real-time aircraft data, including flight
number, airspeed and rate of turn.
UPS says that in addition to its advanced ADS-B data link
features the AT7000 performs all the conventional functions of a Mode S
transponder, such as interrogation response to air traffic control radar and
In its 757 installation UPS has fitted the AT7000 as part of
a TCAS package that also features UPS Aviation Technologies’ AT2000 display of
traffic information and multi-function display, as well as the ACSS TCAS-2000
UPS notes its AT7000 would also be able to support a
transponder security function now under consideration by the FAA to make the
equipment immune to tampering by potential hijackers. The AT7000 could support
the function after receiving a simple software upload that UPS says it would provide
to each user at no cost.