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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 Covington (CVG), Pittsburg (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. 

The MLAT Divestiture team had a meeting with the Radar Divestiture team in efforts to synchronize programs and discuss lessons learned thus far. Data accumulation continues as the team determines if MLAT divestiture is feasible. Meetings are being scheduled to discuss how to merge ASDE-X and ASSC Baselines. For Controllers, this will mean increased capabilities on both platforms. 

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 Miami Center (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 New York Center (ZNY), Anchorage Center (ZAN) and Oakland Center (ZOA). 

Data collection of SBA traffic at ZMA has decreased due to COVID. Weekly Telcons continue as the team analyzes data and develops a path forward. In addition, the team has increased its focus on near term work with the ATOP program. Small project ConOps discussions will start in upcoming weeks for ZOA, ZAN, and ZNY 

Radar Divestiture 

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. 

Radar Divestiture Activities include weekly meetings for Team, SME, Technical Analysis, Communications, and Leadership. On most occasions, we meet through a Zoom or GoTo format to virtually look at data and or presentation material that covers every facet of the workgroup. We are collectively analyzing data and sharing information. The Radar Divestiture program is working on a website that will better explain all of this material. We are virtually reviewing kick-off and safety panel information. We are not contacting any facility directly due to Covid-19. 

Terminal Fusion 

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. 

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. 

An ADS-B validation build deployed at ZSE on Mar 17th. SBS completed coverage plots showing where validated ADS-B may be used for 3NM separation. ZSE may expand 3NM operations using ADS-B following N JO 7110.773 and N JO 7210.920. SBS validation capabilities support the expansion of 3NM separation in ZSE airspace (CTV-2018). L3Harris deployed a validation build to RCS15 (ZSE) on Mar 17th. This build allows 3NM separation throughout overlapped ADS-B radio station coverage. ERAM adaptation changes required for expanded 3NM polygons are no longer a limitation based on distance from a radar sensor. 

Covid-19 mitigation put on-hold the future roll-out plan of TBDM and the 3nm airspace expansion project. Several teleconferences have been accomplished to organize a PowerPoint presentation that the workgroup will review for future use at kick-off meetings. This slide show will also be used as a status report to inform the ZSE / ZBW TBDM key sites. 

ADS-B Avionics Issues 

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. 

ASDE-X Tech Refresh 

Now that our terrestrial ADS-B infrastructure is deployed and the 2020 mandate has occurred, there is an ongoing discussion about the desire to stop supporting MLAT on the Surface. ADS-B radios input to ASDE-X and ASSC offer the same data and accuracy to the surface in surveillance systems. Over the next year, an analysis will determine if this is something that can be attempted. 

Meetings are being scheduled to discuss how to merge ASDE-X and ASSC Baselines. For Controllers, this will mean increased capabilities on both platforms. 

Vehicle ADS-B 

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.  Telcons continue as the team amends the Vehicle ADS-B Advisory Circular. No new vehicles have been equipped due to Covid-19.  

Interval Management 

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 plans to resume A321 avionics upgrades starting in June. 

Currently, the goal is to equip up to 6 planes a month. If that rate can be maintained, AIRS operations would likely start at the end of calendar year 22. 

● Conversations are taking place to discuss using CAS in conjunction with Visual Approach clearance Though benefits could be derived, it appears likely that CAS 

will only be used with instrument approaches during our initial testing. CAS 

(formerly ECAVS) is CDTI Assisted Separation. 

● CAS keysite TBD. Likely unknown until facility engagement is once again allowed.  An airport that serves as an American Airlines hub will be required. 

● Meetings have started with MITRE and SBS to start developing scenarios for a future HITL that demonstrates Phase 1 capabilities. The target timeframe (optimistic) is scheduled for October of this year. 

● Meetings with the ERAM IM Task Team as well as the AIRS Team are still ongoing. 

● IM Software Engineering group for STARS met with the Program Trouble Report Workgroup to discuss the ranking of the PTR that would provide CHI for STARS to support IM/CAS.