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New Alphabet Soup: NextGen’s ADS-B Surveillance Technology

New Alphabet Soup: NextGen’s ADS-B Surveillance Technology

  • November
  • 19
  • 2013
  • Anna Kozak

New Alphabet Soup: NextGen’s ADS-B Surveillance Technology

Language is depicted through a standard set of letters or graphemes/symbols called an alphabet. Soup is primarily a liquid food that is made by combining ingredients. The alphabet of NextGen’s new soup spells ADS-B. Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) is a new surveillance technology that allows aircraft to share accurate position data using a combination of GPS with ATC and other aircraft.

What is NextGen? NextGen is short for Next Generation Air Transportation System, a broad term for many FAA projects to upgrade the National Airspace System (NAS). ADS-B is fundamental to the foundation of NextGen and will directly affect aircraft operation in a substantial portion of the nation's airspace effective January 1, 2020.

ADS-B provides foundational technology for improvements related to the NextGen and Single European Sky Air Traffic Management (ATM) Research Programme (or SESAR). NextGen refers to the effort of the United States FAA to transform the ATC system to support a larger volume of airplanes more efficiently. SESAR is a similar effort in Europe.

Why NextGen? Our current ATC system is radar-based. While radar technology was good when it arrived on the scene in the 1950s, it is severely outdated by today’s standards. We need something better and more capable of handling the increased volume of air traffic.
ADS-B provides many benefits to both pilots and air traffic control, improving both the safety and efficiency of flight with respect to traffic, weather information, terrain, and flight information. These benefits are possible due to the increased accuracy and consistency of reported GPS positions. ADS-B surveillance is easier and less expensive to deploy than ground radar. As a broadcast service, ADS-B can be received by other aircraft as well as ATC on the ground.

Although ADS-B will not directly affect aircraft operation in much of the U.S. airspace until January 1, 2020, countries around the world are already implementing ADS-B technology. The ADS-B technology enhances or extends the surveillance capability of their ATC systems. A number of these countries have published new rules that will mandate ADS-B equipage on aircraft operating in certain classes of airspace as early as December 2013. Other countries have chosen not to mandate ADS-B equipage, but have designated specific routes and airspace to benefit those who equip voluntarily. A certain subset of these countries further requires that foreign operators obtain operational approval from their State of Registry to access ADS-B airspace.

Get ready and be prepared! Advanced Aircrew Academy offers a thorough ADS-B course to meet all your travel and training requirements.


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