Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Satellites to prevent aircraft from disappearing

The disappearance of flight MH 370, also in the light of the AF 440 accident in 2009, has sparked discussions on using satellites to enable continuous aircraft tracking. IATA has announced it will form a study group to study the problem and make recommendations by the end of the year.

The solution most discussed is to use the satellite-based ADS-B to have constant tracking of the aircraft. By 2020 ADS-B equipment will be mandatory for airlines in Europe and in the US, so many airlines will not have to bear additional cost. In addition, the airline industry seems happy about using satellite-based ADS-B, because it would gain additional benefits in terms of fuel consumption, emission reduction and airspace capacity.  

Currently, Aireon LLC, a joint venture between US satellite operator Iridium, national Air Navigation Services providers (NavCanada, ENAV, IAA, Naviair), information-technology firms and financial groups aims at providing a space-based global air traffic surveillance system beginning in 2018 by using the next generation of the Iridium satellite constellation.

Furthermore, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) is also studying satellite based ADS-B with satellite operator SES and space electronics company Thales Alenia Space Deutschland.

See more here.

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