An Alaskan company says it will demonstrate in 2013 a satellite-based surveillance and communication network that can augment automatic dependent surveillance - broadcast (ADS-B) networks in the US and abroad for global air traffic management in remote and trans-oceanic regions later this decade.

ADS-B Technologies, which is teamed with satellite telecommunications provider, Globalstar, says half of 24 satellites that will form its network are now on station, the most recent addition being six second-generation Globalstar satellites launched from Kazakhstan on a Soyuz launch vehicle in July.

"Our tests confirm that Globalstar's robust 'bent-pipe' architecture is incredibly reliable and fast," says Robert Nelson, president of ADS-B Technologies. "This is the only practical platform that can provide an over the horizon, real time, air traffic control-quality surveillance system using a certified air traffic control protocol like ADS-B."

Nelson says the company's ADS-B Link Augmentation System (ALAS) technology will be compatible with "virtually any" 978MHz universal access transceiver or 1090MHz extended squitter (ES) ADS-B avionics source. "The higher data transfer rate that Globalstar's new constellation will provide is absolutely necessary for ADS-B link augmentation," he adds.

The company says ALAS has the potential to offer the "real-time backhaul of flight data recorder information", UAS sensor data, bi-directional meteorological data and bi-directional voice "in a wide range of avionics and air traffic management applications".

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news