SURVEILLANCE BROADCAST SERVICES (SBS) OFFICE
Dan Hamilton is the Article 114 Representative to the SBS Office.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B)
Background: The Surveillance and Broadcast Services (SBS) program was created to manage a program that will enable the air traffic control (ATC) system to migrate from one that relies on radar technology to a system that uses precise location data from the global positioning satellite network. An enabler of this evolution is the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology. With this technology, both controllers and pilots will see radar-like displays of highly accurate traffic data. The system will also provide pilots access to weather services, terrain maps, flight information services as well as traffic information for better situational awareness.
Airport Surface Surveillance Capability (ASSC)
Background: ASSC Is a surface surveillance system very similar to ASDE-X. The ASSC
program was developed to replace the last remaining ASDE3/AMASS sites. To date, San Francisco (SFO), Clevland (CLE), Kansas City (MCI), Cincinatti (CVG), Pittsburgh (PIT), New Orleans (MSY), and Portland (PDX) have successfully deployed. Anchorage (ANC) and Andrews (ADW) will be the last two sites in the waterfall. Initially, ASSC was supposed to deploy without Surface Movement Radar (SMR.) ADW will be the first site to deploy with SMR and SBS (ADS-B.) ADW will not have multilateration (MLAT) as SBS and MLAT are redundant systems providing the same information. This also paves the way for surface surveillance systems to deploy at facilities that do not currently have this capability.
Initial conversations have taken place with ZAN regarding the Shemya region, and ZNY regarding the Bermuda region for ConOps for SBA Integration. Oakland Center (ZOA) meetings about the South Pacific Islands will take place in the upcoming weeks. SBA in the Caribbean discussion continues as questions arise regarding aircraft Avionics performance. The main focus is around answering why aircraft disappear or coast on the ERAM Radar Scope. Satellite issue, or aircraft avionics performance issue? The team has requested the assistance of flight standards in efforts to gain the answers needed. Telcons are ongoing regarding system modifications needed to achieve MLAT Divestiture.
Utilizing SMR (Surface Movement Radar) for validation will help in aircraft acquisition. Due to COVID restrictions, delays will push the team’s ability to engage facilities which is a benefit. This allows more time for team planning and analyzation, and for Dan Hamilton to work with the agency on an agreed-upon process that will mirror the Radar Divestiture program.
Andrew Stachowiak is the NATCA Article 114 ADS-B Terminal Fusion Representative.
Background: The Fusion Focus Group continues to track and resolve facility reported issues
with Fusion generated from the 155 terminal sites. These discrepancies are mitigated by experts from all of the software and hardware fields. Please report any issues to your OSF and our NATCA SBS group for assistance. Actual data must be recorded for evaluation and proper resolution. DVT requested relief from an automation change that cluttered their display using unassociated tracks while in the VFR pattern. I am coordinating with TSLE (Terminal Second Level Engineering) at the WJHTC in ACY to get more data block site rule flexibility. There is an opportunity in the next software change to provide this fix and make it available.
Andrew Stachowiak is the NATCA Article 114 Radar Divestiture Representative
Background: Over two years ago, the NATCA SBS team started a collaboration with the agency in efforts to optimize the NAS. The implementation of ADS-B as the preferred surveillance source for the Fusion Tracker created the opportunity to modify our radar infrastructure. The SPA (Surveillance Portfolio Analysis) workgroup performed an extensive inventory analysis report for all of the radar sources in the FAA. The program’s mission is to capitalize on the benefits of new surveillance technologies by strategically reshaping our radar infrastructure to gain efficiencies and optimize services for air traffic control (ATC) operations today and into the future. This will be a long and completely transparent process involving data gathering, expert analysis, local facility coordination, and a safety panel for each proposed radar removal. In some situations, additional radar feeds could be added to enhance surveillance. As this program matures, activities and other information will be updated here. Good News! The Radar Divestiture Program website page is now live via the following link:
Track-Based Display Mode (TBDM)
Andrew Stachowiak is the NATCA Article 114 TBDM Representative.
Background: Track Based Display Mode (TBDM) is a new display mode in ERAM. TBDM makes ADS-B the preferred sensor and provides controllers using ERAM with smoothed track positions rather than last-reported or extrapolated target positions Smoothed track positions are displayed in sync with the preferred radar sweep (4.6 or 12 secs); use of the smoothed track position maximizes display accuracy. Reports from 0 to 8 radars along with ADS-B can be fused to form a single aircraft track. TBDM provides no changes to target/track symbology and the display update rate remains the same. TBDM enables the use of ADS-B as the preferred surveillance source to support 3NM Separation no longer limited to 3NM separation based on distance from a radar sensor. ADS-B will backfill Radar Cones of Silence and airspace beyond the distance and site limitations of existing SRRs and LRRs. New SBS Validation capabilities support significant future expansion of 3NM validation and separation anywhere in EnRoute Airspace at or below FL230 with validated ADS-B targets to the 3 NM Terminal service volume validation threshold. The TBDM adaptation changes coming out of a successful key site operation (ZSE/ ZBW), determined that the adaptation changes would be (nearly) transparent to the Controller workforce. Therefore, based on that Key site testing information, AJV-P approved NAS-wide Notices permitting the use of ADS-B for 3NM separation when operating in TBDM.
ADS-B Avionics Issues
Andrew Stachowiak is the NATCA Article 114 ADS-B avionics issues SME.
NATCA SBS continues to work with the Agency toward a more proactive approach to ADS-B avionics issues that result in position error. These issues occur when standards for installation or configuration within aircraft or ground systems are not met. ADS-B is a cooperative surveillance source relying on position accuracy determined onboard the aircraft. Controllers and facilities are encouraged to report any identified events through ATSAP and via automation trouble reports. Issues with the uAvionix SkyBeacon wingtip mounted ADS-B unit used for general aviation aircraft are still being worked along with AVS (flight standards) and AIR (flight certification) in efforts to correct these issues. A quad zero automation test is in the works. There have been some recent flight planning routes exchanged that will involve a flight check of this uAvionix transponder issue in and or near the Houston Tracon airspace. A volunteer aircraft that was to be used for this flight test is now unavailable. We are pursuing other options.
Space-Based ADS-B (ASEPS)
Background: With the terrestrial ADS-B platform fully deployed, the focus has turned to areas where surveillance is more difficult to achieve. Space-Based ADS-B (SBA) utilizes low orbiting satellites to track aircraft that are ADS-B 1090ES Equipped. SBA provides updates every second, much like FUSION in STARS. SBA provides all the data controllers currently see on all platforms. It is also possible to gain additional data such as selected altitude. The team has been working with ZMA as they are the key site for operational evaluation in the Caribbean. As work in ZMA progresses, the team is also working with the ATOP team in the development of future concepts for SBA in the oceanic environment. Future concepts include work with ZNY, ZAN, and ZOA.
Tom Zarick is the NATCA Article 114 Interval Management Representative.
Chris Aymond is the Interval Management SME for Terminal.
Background: Interval Management, or IM, combines ground-based and flight-deck systems to provide precise inter-aircraft spacing between aircraft, providing air traffic with another tool to manage traffic flows. The objective of the IM application is to achieve and/or maintain an assigned spacing goal (ASG) between the IM aircraft and the ATC-designated aircraft by having the pilot follow speed commands generated by the flight deck avionics. The ASG is provided by the controller and may be given in time or distance.
ADSB-In Retrofit Solution (AIRS)
Background: AIRS is an application within the Interval Management domain that the Agency and American Airlines are engaged to promote the benefits and viability of ADSB-In.
The deployment strategy for IM will consist of three phases. The first phase or Phase 1, (similar to the AIRS concept) will consist of a subset of the IM functionality which will be limited to the same runway operations. Phase 2 will introduce more complex IM operations utilizing more of the flight deck avionics that adds functionality for Dependent Staggered Approaches (DSA) and Dependent Converging and Crossing Runways (DCCR). Phase 3 will introduce advanced IM capabilities that will be deployed to only a handful of facilities due to its limited benefits.
Updates and Upcoming Activities:
● American Airlines released two A321’s to maintenance which will be equipped with the ADS-B In avionics required for AIRS and CAS. Scheduled to return to service beginning of July.
● The AIRS and CAS Workgroups began to explore the potential impacts of Callsign Mismatch (CSMM) to these programs. With the current number of CSMM’s in the tens of thousands, mitigation will need to take place before IM being deployed successfully. Mitigation primarily being education and enforcement.
● CAS keysite still unknown until facility engagement is allowed to take place.
● Telecon’s to discuss the Phase 1 ConOps comments took place with AJT, AJV and AJM. The comments that were accepted are being incorporated into the document and should be distributed later this month.
● Conversations are starting with the SBS Program Office to have the Agency better communicate on how AIRS and CAS will tie in with the advanced IM applications in the future (Phase 1).
Background: Vehicle ADS-B is a program that equips vehicles with transponders so they will be visible not only by air traffic but also by airport operators. Aircraft that have ADS-B IN can also see vehicles on the flight deck. This program greatly increases safety and situational awareness in the field. Although vehicle equipage is not currently mandated, it is very much encouraged. The team that handles ASDE-X and ASSC also cover this program. There are currently 1775 vehicles equipped at 26 airports. PDX, IAD, and DCA are the latest airports to join in equipping.
The Vehicle team has been working with Tech Ops on a plan to equip Tech Ops vehicles.
Currently, there is no funding for this.