Airservices Australia and Thales deliver major Air Traffic Management enhancements

Airservices Australia and Thales have delivered major performance and safety enhancements to Australias Air Traffic Management (ATM) system, as part of a program to continuously improve the reliable, efficient and safe management of the countrys airspace.
The enhancements are part of an ongoing evolution strategy designed to take advantage of new technologies and industry standards. Chris Jenkins, Managing Director of Thales Australia, said the enhancements delivered significant benefits to Airservices Australia and the Australian public. We have worked very closely with Airservices Australia to successfully deliver this complex and challenging upgrade. Our extensive ATM expertise in Australia, combined with our international experience delivering air traffic management systems to over 50 countries, enables us to meet a wide variety of customer requirements, as well as the complex technological challenges involved in operational upgrades. Greg Russell, Chief Executive Officer of Airservices Australia, said the latest upgrade enabled the organisation to remain at the forefront of ATM capability. This major software upgrade has taken a number of years of work by both organisations and adds numerous safety and efficiency benefits to Australias ATM system. Airservices Australia and Thales have made several upgrades to Australias ATM system since The Australian Advanced Air Traffic System (TAAATS) was commissioned in March 2000. Airservices annually manages 4 million domestic and international flights that carry 63 million passengers, and covers 11% of the worlds surface. The latest improvements, known as TAAATS V12, were subjected to unparalleled levels of testing to ensure the highest standards of reliability and safety for Australian travellers. A large multinational team of Thales engineers developed and modified more than 1.3 million lines of code, implementing a total of 51 enhancements into an existing operational environment. The rollout was completed in early December 2009 following a staged commissioning process to multiple sites across Australia. TAAATS V12 encompasses enhancements to support the introduction of new Radar Surveillance Tracking, QNH processing, Safety-Net monitoring, and Radar Bypass services in order to:
  • Support reception of data from barometric pressure (QNH) sensors received through Airservices Australias new IP network.
  • Support reception of Aeronautical Information Package (AIP) data from the National Aeronautical Information Processing System (NAIPS) received through the IP network.
  • Establish a platform for the introduction of future safety improvements achievable through the processing of down-linked data available through Mode S radar and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) ground station systems. ADS-B is a surveillance technology enabling aircraft to be tracked by controllers and other pilots without using conventional radar.
  • Support safety improvements achievable through improvements in radar tracking accuracy.
  • Support safety improvements achievable through improvements in fail-safe operations and degraded operational modes.
  • Achieve safety improvements through improvements in radar.
  • There were also several enhancements to existing components, to support ongoing operational improvements.
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