Satellite-Based Position Determination Systems and Concepts for Air Traffic Surveillance

Keith D. McDonald, Arvydas Vaisnys

Abstract: This paper provides a summary description of the current and developmental techniques and concepts for aeronautical position surveillance. The principal focus is on the utilization of satellite elements for proving surveillance services, and in assessing the capabilities, features, limitations, and viability of these techniques. The basic techniques and application areas for dependent surveillance systems which relay their onboard navigation information by an air-to-ground communications link are described. Results are presented for several recent investigations of satellite techniques for independent position surveillance of aircraft equipped with cooperative transponders. Three satellite-based surveillance stems concept variants are discussed which represent varying levels of technological sophistication, space-based structure requirements, cost, and compatibility with planned avionics. These include, first, a surveillance system concept for use with the planned Mode Select system aircraft transponder on a fully compatible basis. Second, a system concept configured to operate with an improved sensitivity transponder which interfaces with the Mode Select avionics, but operates in the aeronautical L-band. This technique achieves more than an order of magnitude improvement in the space-borne antenna aperture area requirements. Third, a new system concept is reported which uses spread spectrum modulation techniques to achieve position surveillance capabilities with earth coverage satellite antennas. The key system characteristics, performance trade-offs, and design parameters are summarized for the systems analyzed. Preliminary conclusions concerning future satellite-based surveillance system options, performance, cost, and operational viability concerns are presented.
Published in: Proceedings of the 1986 National Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation
January 21 - 23, 1986
Long Beach, CA
Pages: 73 - 73
Cite this article: McDonald, Keith D., Vaisnys, Arvydas, "Satellite-Based Position Determination Systems and Concepts for Air Traffic Surveillance," Proceedings of the 1986 National Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation, Long Beach, CA, January 1986, pp. 73-73.
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