New cockpit display to correlate information from conventional and ADS-B devices

UPS Airlines is to equip its Boeing 757s and 767s with the capability to combine traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS) and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) information on one display. The move preserves its investment in ADS-B while complying with regulations requiring cargo aircraft to be fitted with TCAS.

UPS had hoped to certificate ADS-B as an alternative to TCAS, but began installing conventional collision-avoidance systems after the US Federal Aviation Administration issued a notice of proposed rulemaking last November which would require cargo operators to install TCAS by October next year.

The package carrier will install a new cockpit display in its 100-plus 757s and 767s that will be the first capable of correlating traffic information from both TCAS and ADS-B, says developer UPS Aviation Technologies (UPS-AT). The UPS subsidiary believes the display will make it easier for ADS-B to be retrofitted into passenger as well as cargo aircraft, exploiting the datalink system's capabilities.

Initially, the AT2000 display is certificated for TCAS-only use, but a next-generation processor will become available later this year that can correlate and display TCAS and ADS-B targets. UPS plans to install the new processor on a portion of its fleet, says UPS-AT. Pilots will be able to select a correlated target and see the additional information available via ADS-B, including flight number, aircraft type, heading, future position and closure rate.

UPS hopes to exploit the system's additional data and greater range to enable operational capabilities such as arrival spacing, with pilots using ADS-B to monitor aircraft separation with air traffic controllers. UPS-AT is also developing the overlay of airport surface traffic on a moving map display to prevent runway incursions. Trials are beginning in which airport surface-movement radar data and ADS-B position reports will be fused and uplinked.

Source: Flight International