Saab expands Lisbon Airport’s surface multilateration system

26 August 2013 (Last Updated August 26th, 2013 18:30)

Saab has expanded its existing surface multilateration system at Portugal's Lisbon Portela Airport into a wide-area multilateration (WAM) system to improve terminal area surveillance.

Portela Airport

Saab has expanded its existing surface multilateration system at Portugal's Lisbon Portela Airport into a wide-area multilateration (WAM) system to improve terminal area surveillance.

The expansion will allow the Portuguese air navigation services provider (ANSP), NAV Portugal, to use the WAM surveillance information along with existing radar coverage of flights in the Lisbon Vectoring Area, to provide improved coverage of aircraft flying at low heights.

Incorporating the existing advanced-surface movement guidance and control system (A-SMGCS) sensors and sensors in a wide area formation, the new WAM system enables tracking Mode S, automatic dependent surveillance - broadcast (ADS-B) and Mode A/C targets.

NAV Portugal head of engineering department Carlos Alves said that the expansion of the existing Saab multilateration system with additional sensors for terminal area surveillance has increased situational awareness of flights and provided back-up to the terminal area radar.

"This further enhances the safety of flights today and provides us with a system that is fully ready for tomorrow's use of ADS-B," Alves said.

"Saab multilateration incorporates several non-rotating sensors that triangulate the position of aircraft as per transponder signals."

Saab multilateration incorporates several non-rotating sensors that triangulate the position of aircraft as per transponder signals, offering air traffic controllers with accurate aircraft location and detection information in any weather condition.

Offering improved update rate and better positional accuracy than conventional radars, multilateration would provide ANSPs with effective surveillance required for increased safety, capacity and efficiency of airspace and surface operations.

Saab multilateration system uses advanced processing techniques while employing sensors to reduce complexity and lower lifecycle cost, with each sensor supporting ADS-B.

Saab ATM general manager Ken Kaminski said that the deployment of an expanded system for two applications; Nav Portugal is able to save on acquisition, maintenance and training costs.

"The WAM system can also be expanded in the future for en route surveillance," Kaminski said.


Image: The expanded multilateration system would enable terminal manoeuvring area surveillance at Lisbon Portela Airport.