Honeywell Aerospace is launching a "next-generation traffic surveillance system" for current airline cockpits - effectively a traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS) with a 185km (100nm) range. Manager TCAS business development Tom Staggs describes the CAS 100 system as "an enhanced situational awareness tool" for pilots.

Range for the prototype has been proven at 185km using active TCAS surveillance, compared with the 70km of the current TCAS, but it will also support Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B), extending the range further.

The CAS 100 family of products uses a more sensitive receiver coupled with a phased-scan antenna system which enables greater bearing accuracy. Honeywell expects to submit to the US Federal Aviation Administration for certification of the first product, the standalone TPA-100A TCAS processor, at the end of next year, and the combination TCAS and mode S transponder "about nine months later".

With mode S capability, the system will be able to identify positively the aircraft appearing on the TCAS display or integrated TCAS/navigation display, giving each aircraft a unique eight-digit code. Honeywell is looking at enabling the pilot to choose TCAS returns for identification.

Source: Flight International