Lockheed Martin has delivered software to enable the use of GPS technology within the nation’s second busiest airspace, the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON). The use of GPS data and the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) transmission system is a key component of the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) initiative.
“The New York TRACON alone handled more than 1.8 million operations in 2010, supporting airports such as John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, and LaGuardia,” said Sandy Samuel, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s IS&GS-Civil Transportation Solutions business. “This move from a ground-based to a satellite-based system will help ensure the capacity, efficiency and safety that the American flying public needs and deserves.”
The ADS-B enabling software enhancements were delivered via the FAA’s Common Automated Radar Terminal System (ARTS) program, which helps air traffic controllers safely separate departing and arriving aircraft. Common ARTS combines surveillance reports from multiple sensors, including traditional radars and ADS-B, into a single system track per aircraft. The resulting system track gives air traffic controllers improved aircraft position, velocity estimates and overall better picture of the airspace.
Common ARTS has been supporting ADS-B operations in Louisville, Ky., since November 2009, where a large number of United Parcel Service (UPS) aircraft are equipped with ADS-B avionics. In addition to Louisville, Lockheed Martin has also successfully installed ADS-B enabling software in FAA systems in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. The FAA has committed to achieve ADS-B operations for air traffic services across the National Airspace System (NAS) by 2013 as part of its NextGen plan. GA aircraft wishing to operate in the busiest airspace will have to be equipped by 2020.