An airport ground vehicle transmitter developed by ITT Exelis and avionics manufacturer FreeFlight Systems is the first such device certified to a new standard by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Ground vehicles fitted with the device can be monitored by air traffic controllers, improving “situational awareness” and safety at busy airports. The vehicle movement area transmitter (V-MAT) continuously reports the position of a ground vehicle through automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) OUT transmissions.
Secondary surveillance radar
Aspen Avionics is now offering ADS-B solutions for owners of its Evolution PFD and MFD products. There are two ADS-B product lines, one for delivery of ADS-B data from portable receivers to Aspen’s Connected Panel system and another for certified ADS-B solutions that meet the Jan. 1, 2020 ADS-B out mandate.
“Midair collisions statistics are revealing,” said Avidyne COO Patrick Herguth during the company’s press conference at Sun ’n Fun 2013 (Booth C-71). “Fifty-nine percent of midairs happen near the airport; and 54 percent are between aircraft flying in the same direction.” Herguth was citing a 10-year-long study published by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass.
Garmin’s GDL 39 portable ADS-B receiver offers a simple solution for pilots who want to receive free weather and traffic information without a lot of complication. The GDL 39 sells for $799 and receives both types of ADS-B signal that are a unique feature of the U.S. ADS-B landscape. Not all portable ADS-B receivers are dual-band; some receive only the frequency that provides free weather information and certain traffic targets.
A new FAA Advisory Circular–Change 1 to AC 150/5220-26–updates vehicle requirements for the use of ADS-B with squitter output, soon to become necessary in ground vehicles on most major commercial airports using ASDE-X systems.
The ADS-B system that is the cornerstone of the FAA’s NextGen ATC modernization plan is at risk of serious security breaches, according to Brad Haines, a hacker and network security consultant who is worried about ADS-B vulnerabilities. Haines first outlined his concerns during a presentation he gave at the Def Con 20 hacker conference in Las Vegas in July.
An Aviation Rulemaking Committee (ARC), tasked by the FAA to advise on ADS-B in introduction strategies, has recommended that the system not be mandated. In large part, this is because many of its potential applications have yet to be fully defined so the benefits payback period on an operator’s investment in the near future would be well outside the typical three-year standard for the major airlines, considered the system’s predominant user group.
Avidyne announced a new mode-S transponder that will make upgrading to ADS-B out capability much simpler. The new AXP340 mode-S transponder is a slide-in replacement for the popular Bendix/King KT76A and KT78A Mode A/C transponders. Retailing for $5,995, including connector kit and mounting tray but not antenna, the AXP340 will be available early next year, in plenty of time to meet the 2020 ADS-B out mandate.
Corporate operators heading for Colorado’s Craig, Steamboat Springs, Hayden and Rifle Airports this winter shouldn’t worry about diverting to Denver and having their passengers complete the trip by car. That’s because the Colorado DOT has purchased and installed a $5.7 million Sensis multilateration system to track aircraft accurately well below the mountain-affected line of sight of distant FAA secondary surveillance radars (SSR).
Brazil’s Cenipa accident investigation bureau has issued its report on the September 2006 midair over the Amazon, along with an NTSB dissent.