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Significant modernisation of the European surveillance infrastructure has taken place over recent years, addressing both surveillance applications and infrastructure.
A rapid transition from radars-only to multiple types of sensors is in progress, including the implementation of dozens of multilateration systems and over 750 Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) ground stations in about 25 European States. Surveillance modernisation in Europe follows two paths:
- Implementation of ADS-B sole means or with multilateration in non-radar airspace, using current (certified) equipment on thousands of aircraft. ADS-B is currently ground-based but, in the future, it may also be space-based.
- Implementation of Multilateration/ADS-B systems in radar airspace, in which multilateration is used first, to be followed by the additional use of ADS-B. The latter requires enhanced ADS-B avionics and will be driven by the Surveillance Performance and Interoperability EU Regulation No 1207/2011 and its ongoing amendment. The number of aircraft with avionics which are compliant with the EU Regulation is continuously increasing.
Data fusion and performance monitoring, supporting multi-sensor surveillance data, are also available. This includes the EUROCONTROL surveillance data processing product, ARTAS (ATM Surveillance Tracker and Server System), as well as performance evaluation and monitoring tools, such as the EUROCONTROL product SASS-C, the Surveillance Analysis Support System for ATC Centres.
Moreover, initial airborne surveillance (Airborne Traffic Situation Awareness - ATSAW) has been operational in Europe since 2012. Since then, thousands of operational flights have been carried out.
Integration/rationalisation is also ongoing, driven by ADS-B (e.g. ACAS – Airborne Collision Avoidance System - Hybrid Surveillance on the airborne side and combined Multilateration/ADS-B systems on the ground).
Working together with the stakeholders on performance benefits
EUROCONTROL’s Surveillance Modernisation Unit activities focus on promoting performance-based modernisation and the rationalisation of the European ATM Network’s surveillance.
It covers both ground surveillance (such as ADS-B and WAM - Wide Area Multilateration) as well as airborne surveillance applications. It supports short-term implementation as well as longer-term SESAR projects. It works actively to ensure global interoperability.
The Surveillance Modernisation Unit’s support objectives are achieved by working closely with an extensive range of international stakeholders whose responsibilities encompass all aspects of Air Traffic Management, including:
- air navigation service providers and their national supervisory authorities both in Europe and across the world;
- aircraft operators and their representative bodies;
- industrial partners for airframes, avionic components and ground-based infrastructure;
- international organisations, standardisation bodies, regulators including the European Commission, EASA, SESAR JU, EUROCAE, RTCA, ICAO, etc.