Avidyne joins MIT, FAA in ADS-B development program

Avidyne is working with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the FAA on the Airborne Traffic Situational Awareness with Alerts (TSAA) program for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). The FAA-funded TSAA program, valued at $4 million over three years, includes the prototyping and demonstration of hardware, along with the drafting of industry standards for conflict detection and alerting to be adopted by ADS-B vendors, Avidyne officials said.

“ADS-B is integral to the NextGen Air Transportation System, and we are pleased to be a part of the development process for this important safety-enhancement,” said Dan Schwinn, Avidyne’s President and CEO. “Through the TSAA program, we are defining the algorithms for conflict detection, and also for reducing false alerts and nuisance alerts in high-traffic airport and approach environments for aircraft using ADS-B.”

Initial TSAA research, application development, and simulations were completed in 2011, and flight tests and refinements are being accomplished throughout 2012, he added. New minimum operational performance standards (MOPS) will be defined in the second half of 2013 and the new Technical Standard Order (TSO) is expected to be published and available for all manufacturers soon after that.

The Airborne Traffic Situational Awareness with Alerts (TSAA) development program was launched in 2011 to address the fact that the current minimum operational performance standards (MOPS) for ADS-B define traffic detection protocols and basic display symbology, but do not include collision detection and alerting standards.

The program started with a comprehensive two-year study on midair collisions. Avidyne has developed dual-link ADS-B receivers that are designed to listen to both 1090MHz and 978MHz ADS-B frequencies, and are capable of handling up to 400 targets at once, company officials said.

A comprehensive flight test program was designed to ensure real-world operation of the ADS-B alerting system, officials noted. Flight test plans include multiple scenarios across the country with general aviation aircraft, high performance business jets, and helicopters.

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