[jhb_airlines] Re: Christmas Present List

  • From: "Bones" <bones@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 4 Aug 2005 19:34:43 +0100

Don't tempt me. It would be ironic getting this kit and seeing aircraft on
your PC years ahead of the CAA getting it installed!

ADSB will do the same for ATC as GPS did for pilots. GPS has made VOR's and
NDB's redundant and ADSB will make radar redundant. The funny thing is that
radar was a WW2 invention and ADSB is the ultimate development of IFF - also
introduced in WW2. ADSB will also give real life ATC much the same as we
have in FPI believe it or not - full "radar" coverage at all heights and,
almost, globally.

Primary radar works by firing a pulse out from the radar head and it
bouncing off the aircraft. The returned signal gives distance, bearing and
(in some cases) height information but just as a blip on the screen.
Secondary radar goes a bit better because the radar head fires out a pulse
that triggers the transponder in an aircraft and this returns a coded pulse
giving height data and the squawk. Coding in the ground radar box of tricks
converts this into a data tag with callsign, speed etc. Put the wrong
callsign in the computer next to a squawk and the wrong callsign will appear
on the tube! At least we don't have to do this in FPI!

It didn't take long for someone to realise that these aircraft pulses could
be picked up by receivers other than an SSR radar head - and this is how
TCAS was born. Now the pulse is picked up by other aircraft and the data
used to provide warning information on aircraft in close proximity - but it
is still a short range facility.

ADSB goes the full step and does away with the ground radar. With an S band
Transponder much more data is sent by the aircraft - more than current
radars can use. In ADSB the aircraft pulse will be picked up by satellite
and from there beamed to Earth. That means anyone with an ADSB receiver can
pick up the data - much as GPS works. It means there isn't a range
limitation for the aircraft signal (it's not line of sight any more) and you
don't need a complex radar system to decode the data. A simple receiver with
a PC will do.

S band transponders are required to be fitted to GA aircraft in the UK by
March 2005 and by all aircraft by March 2008. The first requirement has
already been knocked on the head as the GA community argued (rightly) that
the CAA won't have any S band decoding receivers for another two years. In
truth the CAA is in a pickle because it really doesn't have a firm plan for
implementing ADSB yet. I guess they still can't accept that all their new
Swanwick radar tubes are going to be ripped out and replaced by PC's. <vbg>

In the meantime we can get this receiver, plug it into out PC and it will
start picking up the satellite data. Think of all the airports without radar
that could benefit from this idea - just a receiver and a PC (CAA approved
of course) and they could be in business. Aircraft fitted with ADSB
receivers will be able to see a radar picture of other aircraft hundreds of
miles away rather than the limited TCAS line of sight range. ADSB will
determine conflictions when aircraft are still hundreds of miles apart.
Airport vehicles fitted with a Mode S transponder will also show on the
radar and ADSB can warn a pilot if a vehicle is on a runway.

It's the future now - but the technology has caught people out. The system
is up and running but neither aircraft or ATC have actually made serious
moves to get the equipment installed. It seems odd that if I got this
software I could probably see Irish Sea traffic (only Mode S equipped
though) as good as Ronaldsway - and with a portable VHF radio I could take
over <vbg>.. Thinks - will this mean controllers working from home in
future? Set up the receiver at the airport and feed it to a local network
and I could plug into it with my PDA.. <g>

There are so few aircraft with Mode S right now that it wouldn't be a good
buy. In a couple of years though I bet the costs will be down and it might
be very tempting. make it portable like a GPS receiver and I could take it
in the aircraft (or car) too!


-----Original Message-----
From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Gerry Winskill
Sent: 04 August 2005 16:29
Subject: [jhb_airlines] Christmas Present List

All putting this on our list, or saving our pennies, are we?

Only £499.95.

Gerry Winskill

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