Dependent Surveillance Through an Experimental Satellite Data Link System

George A. Cobley

Abstract: In August 1985 Rockwell International Corporation Avionics Group, The MITRE Corporation, Ball Aerospace Systems, COMSAT, and Avantek, Inc. participated in a flight demonstration of an experimental satellite data link system. The demonstration was conducted using an aircraft that operated out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa to the remote areas of the Atlantic Ocean north of Reykjavik, 1991and. The flight test had four major demonstration objectives, one of which was to demonstrate the ability to determine aircraft position from onboard systems, transfer that position data to earth via an INMARSAT geostationary communications satellite, and track the aircraft position at a control center. The flight test aircraft position was determined by using the Global Positioning System. When GPS was not available because of satellite configuration at the time, an INS was used. This data was supplied to a Collins Data Link system where it was enclosed in a message block. The data was then sent to the on-board satellite terminal for transmission. The data was sent in either of two modes; automatic at a set rate or upon request of the ground system in a polled mode. Dependent surveillance of aircraft position is primarily driven by an interest in improved safety. The air traffic control system can operate more safely when the exact position of an aircraft is known. Secondly, if aircraft positions are known accurately, then the aircraft separation criteria can be reduced which signficantly reduces operating cost by allowing more aircraft to fly the optimum flight track. The interests of air traffic control and the commercial operators are mutually supportive. The combination of very accurate position from GPS and long range satellite communications provides the opportunity to move forward toward the mutual goals.
Published in: Proceedings of the 1986 National Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation
January 21 - 23, 1986
Long Beach, CA
Pages: 75 - 80
Cite this article: Cobley, George A., "Dependent Surveillance Through an Experimental Satellite Data Link System," Proceedings of the 1986 National Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation, Long Beach, CA, January 1986, pp. 75-80.
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