SURVEILLANCE BROADCAST SERVICES (SBS) OFFICE
Dan Hamilton is the Article 114 Representative to the SBS Office.
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.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B)
Andrew Stachowiak is the NATCA Article 114 ADS-B Terminal Fusion Representative / SME.
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.
Deer Valley Tracon (DVT) requested relief from an automation change that cluttered their display using unassociated tracks while in the VFR pattern. DVT wants their limited data blocks to display just speed and altitude like they were able to do before. Kyle Ness (NATCA TAMR Lead) investigated the adaptation settings DVT was using and discovered the issue and came up with a solution. Coordinating with the Denver OSF, Phoneix (P50), and DVT will happen sometime in the future. DVT spoke with P50 and discovered they were able to accommodate DVTs automation pref.
After adding Seymour Johnson (GSB), the Raliegh-Durham (RDU) tower has benefited from this new surveillance source and passed on positive feedback.
Andrew Stachowiak is the NATCA Article 114 Radar Divestiture Representative / SME.
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 presenting monthly updates to the PMO during their Program Management Review meeting. We are collectively analyzing data and sharing information. We are virtually reviewing kick-off and safety panel information. We are not contacting any facility directly due to Covid-19. The Radar Divestiture program is working on a website that will better explain all of this material.
Good News! The Radar Divestiture Program website page is now live via the following link: http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/technology/radardivestiture
Track-Based Display Mode (TBDM):
Andrew Stachowiak is the NATCA Article 114 TBDM Representative / SME.
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 Seattle Center (ZSE)/ Boston Center (ZBW), determined that the adaptation changes would be 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 was deployed at Seattle Center (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 Seattle Center (ZSE) / Boston Center (ZBW) TBDM key sites. New ADS-B coverage maps, developed by Regulus support, were shared with our key sites. Covid-19 mitigation also put on-hold planning for the expansion of designated 3nm separation areas.
ADS-B Avionics Issues
Andrew Stachowiak is the NATCA Article 114 ADS-B avionics issues SME.
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 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.
Dan Hamilton, SBS Lead Rep
Background: Surface Surveillance encompasses ASDE-X and ASSC. Programs falling under this category include SMR Infrastructure SLEP (Service life extension program,) SMR SLEP, SMR Replacement, MLAT Divestiture, Baseline merge, and any other program impacting our surface surveillance platforms
The team has received the OK to start both SLEP programs. The SLEP programs focus on repair and refurbishment of the ASDE3 radar. San Francisco (SFO), Washington National (DCA), and Los Angeles (LAX) will be the first three sites on the waterfall. SFO will be surveyed at the end of the month. Dan has also been working with Mark Ostonic (NATCA Requirements Rep) on an ONA (operational needs assessment) to determine the need to make surface surveillance a safety-critical system. Although this discussion is in the early phases, it will likely bring to light the reliance controllers have on ASDE-X an ASSC and could very well identify the need for an entirely new system that would be safety-critical. At the current time, both systems are classified as advisory systems. On the MLAT divestiture topic, the analysis continues as a determination has yet to be made if MLAT divestiture is feasible.
Space-Based ADS-B (ASEPS)
Dan Hamilton, SBS Lead Rep.
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).
The flight test to analyze the updated satellite beam configuration discussed in the previous update has been postponed due to weather. It has been rescheduled tentatively for the end of the month.
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’ equipage status currently stands at seven completed and five undergoing the upgrade as of September 10th. The new end of year estimate is 20 completed (down from 27).
● American will begin flight tests starting at the end of October on the 321NEO to certify the ADS-B In avionics on that particular airframe. The second and final test flight will be scheduled sometime in November.
● We had a second meeting with Raytheon and the STARS team to review the thin spec for CAS. The ultimate goal on the operations side is to keep modifications to the STARS data block and interface simple and intuitive. Raytheon’s initial proposal contained fly-out menus and information that seemed a bit too cumbersome for a controller to use.
● While DFW continues to be the “planned” site for a CAS trial, some concerns are being raised as to the benefits that could be derived from CAS operations at this site. More benefits analysis studies are being performed. We’re still awaiting approval from AJT as to when we can engage the facility.
● The SBS Program Office continues to meet with the TBFM Program Office to discuss the requirements levied on TBFM in support of IM. The first set of meetings evolved into more of an ADS-B In applications briefing than a Requirements discussion.
● NATCA SBS and the Belmont Group conducted an initial review with MITRE of the STARS Interface for CAS. We explored symbology in the STARS data block to indicate ADS-B-In equipage type (CAS, AIRS SafeRoute, and IM) and how STARS would be able to display active operations. We evaluated the proposed interface to facilitate discussions on how CAS could be used in parallel runway arrival and departure operations. We also evaluated a simpler fly-out menu initially proposed by Raytheon.
Dan Hamilton, SBS Lead Rep.
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. Portland (PDX), Washington Dulles (IAD), and Washington National (DCA) are the latest airports to join in equipping.
Activities: 27 vehicles were added at ANC bringing the total number of equipped vehicles in the NAS to 1950, now at 27 airports.