The Technology Strategy Board’s Highly Innovative Technology Enablers for Aerospace (HITEA) program, formulated to create the U.K.’ future air traffic management (ATM) surveillance strategy, will hereon be supported by Roke Manor Research, a principal electronics research and development center, and also by Thales (News - Alert) and NATS.
The Primary Surveillance Radars (PSR) used currently is deemed costly, making heavy use of a dedicated transmitter for aircraft location. To counter these limitations, the HITEA is a two-year program that showcases advanced air traffic control radar, and Multi-Static Primary Surveillance Radar (MSPSR) that leverages digital broadcast signals so that the valuable spectrum can be allocated to other uses.
MSPSR is also unaffected by the interference caused by wind turbines, which increase air travel safety and at the same time enable the government to attain its renewable energy strategy objectives.
Roke stated that it offers Vigilance, which provides the greatest accuracy of any multilateration system, and has safely and reliably provided continuous multilateration cover in the busiest skies in the world.
Purported as cost effective, it also demands the lowest number of monitoring sites compared to other multilateration systems.
Roke’ expertise with Vigilance deployment will be used to support NATS in the development of the MSPSR system requirements, assessment of system design and in an independent verification and validation of the MSPSR system performance.
Simon Atkinson, business sector manager for air transport at Roke commented, “Many air navigation service providers are hoping that MSPSR is a cost-saving alternative to replace the expensive primary surveillance radar systems currently being used. Furthermore, as there is an increasing demand for the use of the electromagnetic spectrum, the current frequency allocations for PSR are coming under threat.”
“MSPSR could be the answer to freeing up valuable spectrum and herald the first major revolution in radar since its use by the British during World War Two,” he said.
Atkinson added, “The Technology Strategy Board’s decision to appoint Roke, teamed with Thales and NATS, is testament to our continual commitment to develop the most innovative technologies while delivering excellent customer service. Our two partners share this ethos and we look forward to working with them to deliver an effective new approach to the way that air traffic is managed in the future.”
Edited by Braden Becker