The world’s air-traffic surveillance standard technology will undergo a sea-change come 2020 as most of the world’s industrial countries complete their changeover to air traffic management using Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), replacing radar.
The weak link for both radar-based and ADS-B-based air-traffic management, however, is the ground network required to link the aircraft data to air traffic controllers. A ground-based network precludes coverage over oceans and wide swaths of the planet still lack the ground stations and the connecting network.
But, starting at year’s end, a new surveillance system goes on-line after two years of work establishing its network – and this one promises to cover the earth from pole-to-pole at all altitudes.
Employing the same ADS-B Out technology already in use in aircraft around the world, the satellite-based ADS-B system comes from Aireon, a Virginia-based company which works in partnership with major Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) from around the world, among them NAV Canada, the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), Navair and others.