ASTERIX as an evolutive standard
As the volume of Air Traffic is continuously increasing and as high level of Safety must be maintained, the surveillance systems are under constant evolution.
New-generation surveillance technologies are being developed which need to cohabit with current systems. The information they generate must be transmitted in a harmonised and efficient way.
ASTERIX is past, present and future.
Until the 1980s, every National Administration developed its own format for delivering radar data to Air Traffic Control Centres. This resulted in duplicate effort and made exchange of radar data across borders a complicated issue.
The need for a common European data format became apparent and an example of what a standard format could look like was presented by Maastricht UAC to the former Radar Systems Specialists Panel (RSSP) in 1984.
The All purpose STructured Eurocontrol SuRveillance Information eXchange format (ASTERIX) was born, the ASTERIX Users Group was created to work on a common European definition which led to ASTERIX's official approval by the RSSP in its 15th Meeting held on 1/4 July 1986.
In 1988, the ASTERIX Manual was presented, describing the initial structure of ASTERIX and providing a set of "data items" to cover monoradar and weather data.
This initial structure was enhanced in 1991 to provide more flexibility, and the ASTERIX Manual was replaced by the first draft of what is now the ASTERIX Structure Document which is the Standard Document to be used for implementing ASTERIX (this document can be found under section ASTERIX Categories).
In 1994, the responsibilities of the former RSSP were taken over by the Surveillance Team, and the Surveillance Task Force for Radar Data Exchange (STFRDE) was created to continue the work of the ASTERIX Users Group (now renamed ASTERIX Maintenance Group). Since then, the application domain of ASTERIX has constantly expanded, and ASTERIX has now been adopted world-wide as the standard format for exchanging data from primary, secondary, monopulse, Mode S and weather radars, and also for carrying multiradar data, data-link, SMGCS, control & monitoring, etc...