Sensis Corp. reached agreement with Nav Canada to provide its Multistatic Dependent Surveillance multilateration for surface surveillance at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International. Contract also calls for Sensis's VeeLo NextGen vehicle locators to be used for tracking airport vehicles in maneuvering areas.
"MDS's use of nonrotating sensors significantly enhances surveillance coverage from the current surface radar, especially during inclement weather conditions such as rain and snow storms," Sensis Air Traffic Systems VP and GM Tony Lo Brutto explained to AP.
The sensors rely on transponder signals to triangulate the location of aircraft. Technology also features multipath elimination algorithms and MDS sensor support for ADS-B, a system covering en route surveillance. The VeeLo NextGen is a Mode S-based locator that includes a WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and broadcasts position and identity through a Mode S extended squitter ADS-B message format.
"ADM and Nav Canada have worked closely to ensure that controllers and personnel at Montreal have the most advanced, widely deployed surface surveillance technology available," Lo Brutto pointed out. "With the VeeLo NextGen units providing accurate vehicle location and identification information, the integrated solution provides controllers with extensive situational awareness for safety, capacity and efficiency improvements at one of Canada's busiest airports."
Sensis deployed MDS for wide area terminal surveillance in Vancouver Harbor and Fort St. John and is heading Nav Canada's ADS-B program with installations in Hudson Bay and along the Labrador and Baffin Island coasts of eastern Canada.
The company also recently launched its Airport Surface Detection Equipment, Model X runway incursion detection and alerting system at Phoenix Sky Harbor International. Installed at 13 other airports, the ASDE-X technology combines ground surveillance data from various sources to deliver air traffic controllers real-time, highly accurate position and location information of aircraft and vehicles on the airport.
Additionally, Sensis recently won a $131 million, three-year contract from US FAA to deploy Runway Status Lights at PHX and 21 other US airports in an effort to reduce the number of runway incursions. RWSL is a system of red lights embedded in runway pavement that automatically warns pilots if it is unsafe to cross or enter a runway. Takeoff hold lights installed in runway centerlines also indicate if a runway is unsafe for departure.
According to Lo Brutto, "RWSL uses the accurate surveillance information from the airport's ASDE-X to automatically illuminate red lights if ASDE-X detects traffic on or approaching the same runway as a taxiing aircraft."
The technology includes Safety Logic, a solution featuring advanced runway conflict detection and alerting intelligence that employs algorithms to warn controllers of potential aircraft or vehicle incursions. In addition to improving safety, ASDE-X is expected to save time, money and fuel. FAA plans to deploy the technology at a total of 35 US airports. It also has an $84 million, two-year option to extend RWSL deployment to other airports following Sensis's three-year contract.
"FAA's ASDE-X program provides airports like Phoenix Sky Harbor with a very powerful safety and efficiency tool," Lo Brutto added. "ASDE-X is not only the most advanced surface surveillance technology for the prevention of runway incursions, it is also a flexible platform that enables sophisticated solutions such as precision runway monitoring, airport management tools and runway status lights."