United Parcel Service says it is carrying out ADS-B (automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast) operational flight testing in the Los Angeles area using one of its Boeing 727s. The tests are being monitored by specialists from US avionics organisation II Morrow and the FAA Technical Centre.

The trials began on 4 September near II Morrow's Oregon base, and the company's engineering systems manager Craig Hudson claims pleasing results. He says that 12 aircraft will be fitted with ADS-B before 1999, and testing will continue during the first quarter of next year. If all goes well, he says, a start would then be made on equipping large numbers of US cargo aircraft.

Air-to-air tests have been carried out using the 727 and a light twin-engined aircraft. Two types of ADS-B datalinks are being tested at present, says II Morrow: Mode S/1090 and the Universal Access Transceiver (UAT), a broadband 966mHZ.

Hudson reports ranges up to 335km (180nm) with the Mode S and 120km with the UAT.

Source: Flight International