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Russia and Sweden agree on ground stations for ADS-B

 - June 18, 2007, 1:48 AM

After spending a decade studying automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) technologies, Russia and Sweden have signed an accord to bring to their part of the world the necessary ground infrastructure for support of the concept.

The Federal Air Navigation Authority of the Russian Federation (Rosaeronavigatsiya) and the LFV Group-Swedish Airports and Air Navigation Services on April 5 signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation linked to the introduction of ADS- B in the region. Now the countries must begin the task of implementing the technology.

Russia and Sweden have launched a joint study and cost-benefit analysis with the cooperation of airlines and area airports. Goals of the planning now being undertaken include determining the benefits of using ADS-B on the route between Murmansk in northwest Russia and Lulea in Sweden and in the airspace between Sweden and Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea north of Poland.

The countries also plan to explore ways of implementing ADS-B in Moscow and Stockholm as well as the cities of Tyumen, Russia, and Kiruna, Sweden. The initiative will involve installing a number of ADS-B ground stations and associated ATC systems.

ADS-B-equipped aircraft broadcast their precise position over a digital datalink along with other data, including airspeed, altitude and whether the aircraft is turning, climbing or descending. ADS-B receivers integrated into the air traffic control system or installed aboard other aircraft provide depictions of real-time traffic, both in the air and on the ground. Unlike conventional radar, ADS-B operates at low altitudes and on the ground, meaning that it can be used for monitoring traffic on taxiways and runways or in remote areas where there is no radar coverage or where radar coverage is limited.

Some countries are exploring the feasibility of decommissioning expensive secondary surveillance radar systems once ADS-B use becomes commonplace. Experts, however, warn of potential safety concerns because ADS-B relies on GPS signals, which can be disrupted locally by handheld jammers or over broad areas during increased solar activity.