ADS-B In Avionics for NextGen Flight
SafeRoute® is a suite of software applications using Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology to increase safety, efficiency and throughput for flight operators.
SafeRoute uses the Universal Cockpit Display of Traffic Information (U-CDTI), developed in an alliance with Astronautics Corporation of America, to display own-ship and traffic information for the SafeRoute applications. Other unique capabilities of SafeRoute are Merging & Spacing (M&S), In-Trail Procedures, CAVS (CDTI Assisted Visual Separation) and Surface Area Movement Management (SAMM).
These functions offer many benefits to the operator: from fuel savings that result from flying more predictable routes with fewer vectors, to safety that comes from a moving map display with own-ship position in the air and on the ground. During taxi, pilots use SafeRoute to enhance their situational awareness and avoid potential runway incursions.
All applications are available as independent modules or as a software bundle that can be hosted on an ACSS computer unit or third party avionics computer.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast
ADS-B is the technology in which the NextGen air traffic management system is being based. It is a cooperative surveillance technique for air traffic control and aircraft.
ADS-B provides accurate information and frequent updates to airspace users and controllers, and supports improved use of airspace, reduced ceiling/visibility restrictions, improved surface surveillance, and enhanced safety through conflict management.
With ADS-B an aircraft broadcasts its own state vector and other information without knowing what other vehicles or entities might be receiving it and without expectation of an acknowledgment or reply. ADS-B is automatic in that no pilot or controller action is required for the information to be transmitted. It is dependent surveillance in that the surveillance-type information so obtained depends on the suitable navigation and broadcast capability in the source vehicle.
CDTI Assisted Visual Separation (CAVS)
CDTI Assisted Visual Separation (CAVS) allows the flight crew to continue a visual approach procedures using the electronic display to maintain separation if visual contact with Traffic-to-Follow is lost due to hazy or night conditions. CAVS is an important safety enhancement as the electronic information displayed to the crew contains data about the flight they are following such as speed, altitude and closure rate with the traffic. The flight crew can use that information to properly time the deceleration to final approach speed, configure for landing and avoid overtakes and resultant go-arounds.
Surface Area Movement Management (SAMM)
The SAMM application is a significant advancement in airport surface safety delivering critical situational awareness information to the pilot. SAMM provides a moving map display of the airport surface in the cockpit, showing own ship and traffic operating in the terminal, taxi and runway areas. The SAMM module uses ADS-B and TIS-B (Traffic Information Service-Broadcast) to track vehicles operating on the operators area. New airport surface developments include surface indicating and alerting. Improving runway safety is on the NTSB’s “most wanted list” of transportation safety improvements. Installation of SAMM addresses this issue of runway incursion. Over 1,500 runway incursions have occurred at controlled airports in the U.S. in just the past few years. The SAMM application would dramatically reduce the number of incursions.
In-Trail Procedures (ITP)
In-Trail Procedures use ADS-B to improve situational awareness and enable flight crews to perform desired flight level changes on a more frequent basis in oceanic or non- radar airspace. The benefits of ITP include:
- Improved efficiency – More effective flight level changes that allow for more efficient operation.
- Improved flexibility – Enhanced pilot-controller collaboration that enables more flexible operation.
- Improved safety – More effective flight level changes to avoid turbulent conditions.
With SafeRoute ITP, operators spend more time flying at optimum altitude and realize significant results in time savings, fuel savings, and reduced emissions.
Merging & Spacing (M&S)
The Merging & Spacing function makes use of onboard aircraft surveillance to provide flight deck spacing commands that enable aircraft to follow one another at the safest, most efficient interval possible from cruise altitude to the runway. M&S ensures more consistent aircraft spacing while increasing capacity and efficiency in the terminal airspace.
M&S aids Continuous Descent Arrival (CDA) procedures. This capability allows the controller to delegate the task of maintaining accurate in-trail spacing to the flight crew throughout the entire descent profile, all the way from enroute airspace to the runway. Performing CDAs with SafeRoute can reduce:
- Noise footprint of an operator by 30%
- Emissions by 34%
- Fuel burn by 40-70 gallons per arrival
M&S can virtually eliminate low-level vectoring and increases arrival performance to nearly 100% of available capacity in most all weather conditions.
The U-CDTI was developed in an alliance with Astronautics Corporation of America. It enables the display of a moving map of the airport surface with own-ship position on a Class 2 EFB and is available as a stand alone product. When coupled with the SafeRoute-SAMM application, the U-CDTI will also display the position of other traffic operating in the terminal area up to 1,500 feet above ground level. This unique combination of functions addresses the increasing safety concern of runway incursion and is only available as part of SafeRoute.