Saab Sensis Corporation, a U.S. subsidiary of the defense and security company Saab, is helping to advance several NextGen concepts and technologies through its program leadership and deployment of tools at the Florida NextGen Test Bed (FTB) in Daytona Beach, Florida. Key projects, including Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) demonstrations, are being led by Saab Sensis air traffic management subject matter experts as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) tests and demonstrates NextGen concepts and technologies for possible deployment in the NAS. In addition, Saab Sensis tools already in place in the NAS and at major airports, including Airport Surface Detection Equipment, Model X (ASDE-X) technology and the Aerobahn airport surface management system, are being used to support ongoing FTB projects.
In conjunction with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the FAA established the Test Bed for the development, demonstration and evaluation of emerging NextGen concepts and technologies in a collaborative environment. Since 2006, Saab Sensis has been a member of the Test Bed’s Integrated Airport Initiative (IAI), a consortium of government, industry and academic leaders working together to advance a number of NextGen initiatives, including trajectory-based operations, collaborative air traffic management and the integration of UAS with civil aviation.
At the Test Bed, Saab Sensis is providing program management, engineering, and thought leadership to the UAS in the NAS demonstrations and Flight Data Object (FDO) program. For UAS in the NAS, Saab Sensis coordinated the live demonstration of potential future UAS sense-and-avoid and communication technologies and procedures. Saab Sensis is helping define the information and systems to include in the FDO: a new concept to improve flight planning by sharing flight information among all stakeholders (FAA, airlines and airport) as the flight moves through the NAS.
Saab Sensis tools available at the Test Bed include an ASDE-X controller working position (a specialized display and input devices used by FAA air traffic controllers at 35 major U.S. airports) adapted for System Wide Information Management (SWIM) data sharing and record and playback software for reviewing airport surface movements. Saab Sensis’ Aerobahn airport surface management system, currently in use at nine U.S. airports to support collaborative decision making, has also been adapted for SWIM data sharing between airport stakeholders and is available for recording and playback of surface operations.
“Saab Sensis has extensive experience in developing, analyzing and implementing NextGen concepts and is actively contributing these skills along with NAS-ready tools to the Text Bed in a collaborative effort to shape the future of air travel,” said Ken Kaminski, vice president and general manager of Saab Sensis. “The Test Bed is facilitating the integration of technologies currently in use, such as ASDE-X and Aerobahn, with emerging NextGen concepts, the Flight Data Object and SWIM, in a manner that can accelerate their deployment in the NAS.”