Raytheon's standard terminal automation replacement system (STARS) company in Philadelphia has become the first FAA facility to begin operation to deploy fused automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) track data for aircraft surveillance.
ADS-B is a key foundation of the FAA's next-generation air transportation system (NextGen) that enables the transition from ground-based to satellite-based air traffic control.
The fusion allows a control system to combine surveillance reports from multiple sensors, including traditional radars, ADS-B and multi-lateration ground stations, into a single track.
Fused tracks offer air traffic controllers improved aircraft position and velocity estimates, which help to expand the airspace to safely reduce aircraft separation from five miles to three miles.
Raytheon Network Centric Systems' vice president of command and control systems Andy Zogg said this initial operational capability is a significant step in the evolution of Raytheon's terminal area modernisation system and helps the FAA to develop NextGen capabilities.
STARS, a joint procurement of the FAA and the Department of Defense, is designed to replace capacity-constrained older radar approach control facilities and towers.
It equips air traffic controllers with critical operational information on aircraft position, flight data and weather conditions.