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John T. Lenhart (ZOA) is the Article 114 Representative for Advanced Technologies & Oceanic Procedures (ATOP).   

ATOP Program  

Background:  The ATOP system processes information consistent with system calculations or expectations (e.g., vertical movement) and provides alerts to controllers when a situation arises, or information is received that is out of conformance and/or requires attention or action. This “control by exception” concept has enabled oceanic air traffic operations to advance to a level that would not have been possible under the previous manual system. The ATOP system is anticipated to have the capability and maintainability to meet the future demands posed by new airborne technologies and the associated procedures. 

The ATOP system concept incorporates existing and emerging technologies into a single, integrated system.  

These technologies include: 

  • Flight profile monitoring, utilizing flight data processing and surveillance data processing based on data from the following sources: 
  •  Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) 
  •  Primary and secondary radar 
  • Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Contract (ADS-C FANS-1/A compatible) 
  • ControllerPilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC) position reports 
  • High Frequency (HF) radio position reports 
  • CPDLC, (FANS-1/A compatible) 
  • Air Traffic Services (ATS)  Inter-Facility Data Communications (AIDC) 
  • NAS Interfacility message set 
  • ATS Facilities Notifications (AFN) (FANS-1/A compatible) 
  • Conflict detection, prediction, and alerting (radar separation and non-radar oceanic separation) 
  • Workload monitor 

The ATOP system manages long-term conflicts (up to two hours), operational requirements (e.g. coordination, workload monitoring), and aircraft requests. 

 The ATOP program consists of an ATOP Program Manager, NATCA National Lead, NATCA Site Leads, and operational area Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) as well as Oceanic Airspace Managers from each Site. We also have representation from AJV-I, AJT, Site Techs, ATOP Second Level Engineering, and ATOP Contract Support.   

January into early February the ATOP program focused on ATOP Enhancement 2 (E2) candidates and ATOP problem statement development taken from issues from the Sites top 25 lists. 

 Below are the completed drafts that are ready to be distributed to the Site leads and Site support for comments and inputs: 

·      58765: Error Response (DM62) from aircraft for CPDLC route clearance truncations 

·      56891: ATOP allows the sending information to metric data 

·      58000: Delay outbound coordination until the completion of downstream inbound coordination 

·      58257: Inbound Coordination allowed from inappropriate domestic sectors 

The current ATOP E2 candidate list has been ranked by the appropriate stakeholders. The candidate list has not been finalized there is still opportunity for comments, inputs and candidate recommendations. 

Below is the current ATOP E2 candidate list: 

  • Properly Disseminate Hazardous Inflight Weather Advisory’s in accordance with FAA Order: 7110.65, 2-6-6 
  • Satellite Voice Integration at Controller Workstation 
  • ASEPS SBA: Target-to-Target Separation Standard 
  • ASEPS SBA: SBA to support 10 Minute Crossing 
  • ASEPS SBA: SBA Climb Through Procedure 
  • ASEPS SBA: SBA Separation Standard with High Frequency Comms 
  • ASEPS SBA: Tactical Oceanic Maneuver (TOM) with direct Communications 
  • System Wide Information Management (SWIM): Common Support Services (CSS)-Wx Weather and Radar Processor (WARP) 

·      SWIM: CSS-Wx Weather Information Network Server (WINS) for Winds AloftMore Frequent Wind Forecasts to Support Improved Aircraft Profiles 

  • Improved Wx Deviations 
  • Improved Resilience Capabilities and Features 
  • Provide Reroute Options for Transitional Hazard Areas (THAs)/ Weather (Wx) 
  • Track Generation Algorithm utilizing Special Use Airspace (SUA)/THA information 
  • Air Traffic Services Interfacility Data Communications (AIDC) 3.0 
  • SWIM: Flight Data Publish 
  • ASEPS SBA: SBA to support 20 Longitudinal with Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Contract (ADS-C) 10 minute periodic 
  • ASEPS SBA: SBA 19 Lateral and 17/14 Longitudinal 
  • ASEPS SBA:  Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) Select Altitud 

This Month the ATOP Program has worked collaboratively with the following Programs/Projects: 

Future of the Ocean 2035 (FOTO 2035) 

FOTO 2035 Program presented the FOTO vision and goals during the Pacific and Atlantic Oceanic Work groups and well as the Ocean advisory group which included industry and foreign air traffic service providers this month.  FOTO 2035 met with a group from NASA to socialize and explore possible technical capabilities to enhance Oceanic 4D Trajectory (4DT). 

Acceptable Level of Risk (ALR) National Lead, Paul Behan 

The ALR project has gone through reorganization. The new direction is to break off into subgroups. Transition Hazard Area’s (THA’s) in the Oceanic environment will include the ATOP program working closely with the ALR team to achieve solutions. 

Spaced Based ADS-B (SBA) National Lead, Dan Hamilton 

SBA ingest and process functional description narrative (FDN) has been distributed to all Sites and commented on. Based on SBA performance there may be continued changes to the ingest and process capability in ATOP. Until the team is able to conduct robust testing at the tech center, they are limited to demos, and discussions. 

COVID restrictions are still negatively impacting our ability to conduct the T29 ops evaluation. Tentative testing has been scheduled for the week of March 22nd.  If there are any questions about the problem statements subject matter or the E2 candidate list, feel free to contact your Site leads or myself anytime. I wish everyone a great February. 

BUR: JT Lenhart ATOP National Lead 



ZNY: John Fox , ZNY Lead, OCA West (WATRS) SME 


         Todd Tourin, North Atlantic SME 


ZAN: Mark Crabtree, ZAN Lead, SME 


ZOA: Donald White, ZOA Lead, Pacific North SME 


         Catherine Siu, ZOA Pacific South SME 


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