ADS-B

Automatic dependent surveillance – broadcast

ADS-B is a Surveillance technique that relies on aircraft or airport vehicles broadcasting their identity, position and other information derived from on board systems (GNSS etc.). This signal (ADS-B Out) can be captured for surveillance purposes on the ground (ADS-B Out) or on board other aircraft in order to facilitate airborne traffic situational awareness, spacing, separation and self-separation (ADS-B In).

ADS-B is automatic because no external stimulus is required; it is dependent because it relies on on-board systems to provide surveillance information to other parties. Finally, the data is broadcast, the originating source has no knowledge of who receives the data and there is no interrogation or two-way contract.

At EUROCONTROL, our ADS-B activity supports our stakeholders in a comprehensive end-to-end approach (incl. operational, technical, planning and business aspects).

We address ground, airborne and space-based ADS-B aspects in all lifecycle phases from research and development, through implementation to operations and post-ops.

We work closely with all our stakeholders to ensure that the ADS-B benefits and performance improvements for the European ATM Network will be fully realised in an efficient and timely manner.

We aim at global interoperability through a close cooperation with organisations worldwide.

Ground side

We support the ground ADS-B implementation of the air navigation service providers (ANSPs). More than 1000 ADS-B ground stations have been deployed by European ANSPs over the last several years. These are part of multilateration systems (which consist of ADS-B stations), Mode S radars with ADS-B functionality, but also standalone ADS-B systems. This has established a very extensive and continuously expanding ADS-B coverage. It is estimated that ADS-B is currently used for operational air traffic services (ATS) by European ANSPs over more than 6 million square kilometres or ~25% of Europe’s total area.

Airborne side

We address the airborne ADS-B implementation aspects. This includes monitoring of the ADS-B airborne equipage and support to the airspace users on implementation issues.

We also support the surveillance monitoring activity of NM, which addresses the avionics performance and 1030/1090 MHz radio frequency challenges, aiming at improved efficiency and sustainability.

Up in space

The operational use of space-based ADS-B deployed by Aireon, started in 2019. We actively contribute to the integration and use of space-based ADS-B data to enhance the EUROCONTROL applications and improve the Network performance.

Standardisation

We co-led and contributed, over many years, to the standardisation of ADS-B technology, ground stations and all ADS-B applications (ground and airborne) in cooperation with EUROCAE and RTCA.

The ADS-B application standards include the operational service descriptions as well as the safety, performance and interoperability requirements.

This work is currently continuing for the new ADS-B Extended Squitter standard (v3) and the standard for airborne surveillance applications, such as Interval Management.

Support to operational readiness

Our work with the stakeholders on ADS-B implementation and transition to operations currently focusses on ADS-B ground and airborne readiness.

This includes coordination and end-to-end support on tasks and topics such as:

  • operational use cases (short-term and medium-term)
  • implementation planning and monitoring
  • infrastructure performance monitoring
  • integration support
  • guidance material
  • support on the use of specifications and standards
  • maintenance of a list of non-performing aircraft
  • flight plan provisions
  • ADS-B validation functionality at sensor and data fusion levels (addressing anomalies and mitigating security risks)

We closely cooperate with EASA on ADS-B, including the preparation of acceptable means of compliance and guidance material, as part of the wider cooperation agreement between the two organisations,

We have a partnership also with the SESAR Deployment Manager on its ADS-B implementation activity, including the preparation of the ADS-B implementation plan updates.

ADS-B In

We coordinated and supported the implementation of the ADS-B airborne surveillance (so-called “ADS-B In”) initial applications  and achieved initial operational capability   (as part of our Air Traffic Situational Awareness - ATSAW pioneer project).

We currently support the follow-up work on ADS-B In, which is being carried out within SESAR as well as the standardisation and implementation work worldwide.

Support to SESAR

We contribute to the SESAR Joint Undertaking work in projects related with ADS-B since the start of the SESAR programme. This includes areas such as surveillance strategy and roadmap, ground stations, data fusion, rationalisation, security etc.

Background

EUROCONTROL has been coordinating and supporting ADS-B development and implementation in Europe since its inception, in the context of, amongst others, the CASCADE Programme (ADS-B and Multilateration) and its follow-up activities.

Working arrangements

The stakeholder coordination on the ADS-B work is performed by the Network Surveillance User Group (NSUR) and the Surveillance RF and Avionic Anomalies Resolution Group (SURFAR), which report to the Surveillance Steering Group (SUR SG).

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