EUROCONTROL, THE European air-traffic management organisation, has issued an invitation to tender for the development of two Pre-Operational Mode S (POEMS) radar ground stations.

Manufacturers have been invited to bid for the construction of two new ground stations in France and the UK, with a third station in Germany to be upgraded from a monopulse secondary-surveillance radar station. The stations are to be available in mid-1999 for evaluation and interoperability testing.

The POEMS is aimed at the progressive implementation of Mode S enhanced surveillance in Europe, within the framework of the European Air Traffic Control Harmonisation and Integration Programme. It also provides the foundation for a Mode S-based air-ground datalink, one objective defined in the European Civil Aviation Conference's (ECAC) en route strategy.

Mode S is to be initially installed in Europe's high air-traffic density areas, and subsequently throughout the ECAC area.

Eurocontrol says that the POEMS is "an important milestone in the development of the European Mode S programme". It is being conducted by the organisation with support from Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.

The contracts are expected to be issued in the first half of this year, and will be managed by the states sharing in the project's funding.

Source: Flight International