The FAA has completed the first round of flight testing of a unique traffic collision avoidance system that combines automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) technology and traffic information service (TIS) avionics through a sophisticated network the agency describes as an “integrated airborne Internet.”
At the heart of the project is Rannoch’s PathProx conflict detection and alerting software, designed to provide TCAS-like warnings in the air and on the airport surface. But unlike TCAS, the networked collision detection system will provide alerts simultaneously to pilots and controllers. The idea is to remove any remaining ambiguity about what a flight crew’s actions should be when a collision with another aircraft appears imminent. The FAA has awarded Rannoch a contract to continue developing the safety system.