The FAA placed production orders for 11 of Sensis’ airport surface detection equipment systems, Model X (ASDE-X). This requisition is in addition to the 21 initial systems ordered in December 2002. The production option for the 11 ASDE-X systems, in addition to associated hardware, software and support, is worth approximately $35 million.
ASDE-X is an airport surface surveillance system that is expected to provide seamless surveillance and aircraft identification to air traffic controllers. The system uses a combination of surface-movement radar, transponder multilateration and ADS-B sensors to display aircraft position, labeled with call-signs, on ATC tower displays. The integration of the three components provides data with an accuracy, update rate and reliability that is projected to improve airport safety and efficiency.
Under the ASDE-X program, the FAA will deploy ASDE-X at 34 of the busiest U.S. airports. Additionally, the FAA is looking at the possibility of adding ASDE-X technology to 25 airports that now have ASDE-3 ground radars coupled with the airport movement area safety system (AMASS). This modification will improve the overall surveillance by adding multilateration capabilities, giving 59 of the busiest airports in the country a common surface-surveillance technology. The FAA has also tasked Sensis with developing system enhancements for ASDE-X.