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Application of Information Technology in CNS/ATM
Information Technology in CNS/ATM
By Zulfiqar MIRANI B.E (Electronics), PGD (Telecom & Control Engg.)
CNS/ATM – An overview The term CNS/ATM is derived from Communication Navigation Surveillance/ Air Traffic Management. The system involves three major categories as envisaged from its name; Communication, Navigation and Surveillance. Communication in future will be either through a voice link (as being used in conventional ATC and Communication Operations) and using a digital or data link, the concept newly introduced in CNS/ATM system. Medium and techniques may, however, be different. Certainly, data links are to play key role in future ATM communication operations for their inherent benefits. Data link will be mainly used for air-ground as well as ground-to-ground communication. It will not replace the present voice communication systems but provide additional means of air-ground and ground-to-ground communication. In Navigation GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) will replace the traditional Radio Navigation Aids such as NDB, VOR and DME. Multi-DMEs can be used somewhere to augment the GNSS. Customized GNSS augmentation systems are being developed to make GNSS fully compliant with civil aviation requirement for enroute navigation and landing systems. LAAS and WAAS have already been developed for GPS augmentation. LAAS, after completion of final testing, will be commissioned for use as landing aid in the current year, as per FAA plan. Surveillance of areas over the oceans and long range routes for inter-continental traffic will be made with the help of GNSS. Mode-S Radar and GNSS could be used as a primary or alternate source of surveillance information. The information including location and altitude of an airborne aircraft collected from GNSS will be transmitted using digital radio links such as VDL (VHF Digital Link), Mode-S Radar, SATCOM (Communication satellite) or other subnetwork of ATN (Aeronautical Telecommunication Network). This surveillance information will be collected at ground ATS (Air Traffic Services) units, where visual information will be generated for Controllers on surveillance monitors. This new concept of surveillance is named as ADS (Automatic Dependent Surveillance). Primary and Secondary Radars will also be used according to their merit. KEY TECHNOLOGIES involved in CNS/ATM are: 1. 2. 3. 4. Satellite Communication, Navigation and Surveillance Data Communication Data Processing and Representation Integrated Voice and Data Systems
Air - Ground Communication will either be through HF (High Frequency) or VHF (Very High Frequency) radio voice link. Data link will be established using either of the technologies as; communication satellite (SATCOM), VHF Digital Link (VDL) or Mode-S Radar.
Ground-to-Ground communication will continue use of VHF, HF, FM and other radio and telephone circuits beside Data Communication technologies such as Packet Switching Circuits (X.25 Frame Relay, Asynchronous Transfer Mode), TDME (Time Division Multiplexing) etc. End-to-End transmission medium (or physical link, as is called in IT terminology) may be different provided it fulfils the specific communication requirements. This is the area where one encounters the fastest technological developments as compared to other CNS/ATM components. Optical Fibers and Satellite Communication mediums are replacing the microwave and conventional land lines. Data communication link between two ground ATS points may therefore be using these technologies as a back bone to telecommunication service provided by a PTSN (Public Telecom Service Network). There is variety of communication services and technologies which may be used in various Air Traffic Service (ATS) components. Tower control, for example, is to use multiple radio as well as ground communication services for coordination with aircrafts, adjacent airports, ATS centers, Communication Operations, Airport Operations, Met Services, and Airline Operators etc. Same is the case with other ATS and Communication Operation positions. All communication facilities (Voice as well as Data) are essentially to be integrated into a single system. Use of Integrated Voice and Data systems will be common in ATM components. ATN (Aeronautical Communication Network)
Fig: ATN inter-network ATN, as illustrated above, is the interconnection of different sub-networks, or an internetwork. These different networks can be X.25 wide area ground networks, Ethernet local area networks, but also air-to-ground satellite links (AMSS Data-3), digital VHF (e.g. VDL ) or Mode-S radar.
Navigation As for Satellite Navigation Technologies are concerned United States and Russia have already developed GPS (Global Positioning System) and GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) respectively to provide navigational services through out the globe. European States are developing their own navigation satellite which will function in near future. This satellite is so called GNSS-II (or next generation navigation satellite). The navigation information retrieved from these satellites will be transmitted by the aircrafts for use of other aircrafts and ground ATS units for surveillance and safety purpose as envisaged by ACAS. This information is essentially exchanged by the computers via data network such as VDL, ADS-B etc. Independence Surveillance (Through Primary Surveillance Radar) may be continued in Terminal Areas. En-route surveillance will use either Cooperative Independence Surveillance systems (Mode-S Radar) or Automatic Dependence Surveillance (ADS) technologies. Beside above various ATC systems have been developed which collect the Surveillance information (data) via either of the above stated means and Fight data via ATN or various resources, process the information and represent it into the different forms (On variety of displays and monitors) by using latest technologies. An ATC system may comprise of a single system or network of multiple ATS centers interconnected to share and exchange surveillance and Flight data and other useful information. In cockpit number of equipments and systems are provided to confirm CNS/ATM requirements. Such equipments include CDTI (Cockpit Display of Traffic Information), FDMS (Flight Data Management Systems), ADS-B (Automatic Dependence SurveillanceBroadcast) etc.
Fig. Broadcasting of radar information to ATC system by using network information servers (SIR)
Application of IT in CNS/ATM: All the above stated technologies apply computer and microprocessors (or Central Processing Systems) to perform their core and/or supportive functions. They use different software packages according to nature of application and operating systems as confirmed by the machines. They use different IT based communication techniques for information exchange. ATC systems use computer equipments with specialized application software and operating systems (such as LINUX) to process surveillance and flight information collected via Radar, Satellite, VDL, ground-to-ground data networks etc. The processed information is then dispatched to controller working positions using servers through high speed LAN (Local Area Network). Computers are thus involved right from the front-end processing (where information from external sources is received) upto the end-user (that is controller working position) at various stages. Broadcasting of radar information to other ATC systems uses Network Information Servers. Surveillance systems such as Mode-S Radar also perform information processing through high speed computing machines which is then routed to ATC systems via Network Information Servers. Navigation systems are also no exception as for the use of computers is concerned. High speed processing and representation of information in Airborne Systems such as FDMS, CDTI, ADS-B, Transponders is not possible without data processing units. Integrated Voice/Data systems essentially use microprocessor as the central processing unit to multiplex and distribute voice and data to various end-users. Use of computers in Data Communication Networks as the servers is very common due to demand of high speed beside other factors.
CONCLUSION: Information Technology deals matters concerned with computer science and technology, design, development, installation and implementation of information systems and applications. Above stated discussion reveals that IT will be the back bone of the future CNS/ATM system. IT is involved in all the three components of CNS/ATM; that is Communication, Navigation and Surveillance. It is IT that makes the future ATC systems and Voice/Data communication networks work at enormously high speeds. Other advantages of IT based CNS/ATM systems include Reliability, Flexibility, Multi facility Integration, Expanded Operation, User convenience, Security (of information).
Fig: WAAS (a GPS based navigation system) Note: WAAS uses computers as Data Correction Processors and GUS Processors.
Fig: Block diagram of a Traffic Alert System By Zulfiqar MIRANI B.E (Electronics), PGD (Telecom & Control Engg.) Sr. Electronics Engineer Civil Aviation Authority - Pakistan
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