Eurocontrol’s Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre (UAC) has gone live with Mode S “Select” secondary surveillance radar (SSR), according to the agency. In addition to identifying the existing Mode A squawk code and Mode C altitude data for each aircraft, elementary Mode S radar also downlinks the aircraft’s identification

Mode S elementary surveillance radar data for the Maastricht UAC upper airspace is currently being provided by three Mode S radars located in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

Mode S continuously monitors and provides reports on the integrity of aircraft identification data to controllers, who will feed the information back to pilots as required. Eurocontrol says the objective of this initial feedback is to create awareness among pilots of the correct use of Mode S. It also helps overcome the radio frequency congestion problems experienced with conventional radars in high density airspace by providing controllers automatically with more datalinked information about each aircraft, and reduces the risk of confusion or misidentification due to overlapping signals, therefore enabling “substantially” higher air traffic levels to be managed safely, according to the agency.

Mode S enhanced surveillance, which enables the downlinking of additional aircraft parameters, will be implemented in the denser traffic areas of France, Germany and the UK.