ERA (a member of OMNIPOL group) announced the awarding of a contract to deliver its composite multilateration and ADS-B system NEO for nationwide ADS-B coverage for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia airspace. The system will also serve as a Wide Area Multilateration solution providing coverage of 150 Nautical Miles circle around the city of Afif. The ERA system is able to handle extreme climate environments under all operational capacities and has therefore been chosen for the high outdoor temperature prevailing in this region. Saudi Arabia amounts to the 65th country on the list of ERA customers.
The contract was signed by Saudi ANSP Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS) this April. The project called Kingdom Wide ADS-B and Afif WAM has two parts:
- The ADS-B project involves the delivery of 14 dual ADS-B stations in order to provide the entire country with FIR coverage. The CPS of the ADS-B system will be placed in Jeddah and the data distributed to Riyadh and Jeddah ACC centres and SANS HQ. The sites for installation of the ADS-B sensors include radar sites, communication sites and airport towers, etc., all in the property of SANS.
- The WAM project consists of 14 WAM sensors with N-1 design. The system will provide coverage of the 150 NM circle around the modern city of Afif with its central position in the country. Additional parts of the project include extensive training of local staff and safety.
NEO is part of the family of ERA worldwide tested and tried multi-sensor systems, its ground station architecture is built to perform under harsh outdoor conditions, particularly extreme temperatures. The stations are completely dust proof to handle the typical local environment of hot dry deserts.
The project shall be implemented within 18 months from the contract signature, in the autumn of 2020. ERA will cooperate on the project with the local subcontractor, who will be responsible for the equipment installation and local project management activities. This is ERA´s first project in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the company is proud to add it to the list of 65 countries with ERA system references.
On ADS-B technology and WAM
ADS-B represents dependent information on data from the aircraft's navigation system, ADS-B equipped aircraft broadcast their GNSS positions once per second. The information received by the ADS-B ground station includes the aircraft's identification, altitude, speed, velocity, etc. Wide Area Multilateration represents enhanced surveillance easily adaptable to any approach, terminal or en-route surveillance requirements as well as all terrain challenges. The extremely high availability characteristics provided by the built-in redundancy of wide area systems consists of an ideal replacement or complementary system to traditional secondary surveillance radar.
On the city of Afif
Afif is a city in central Saudi Arabia, in the Najd region. It is situated approximately halfway between the capital Riyadh and Mecca. The modern city was established in the 1910s as a settlement for the nomadic tribes of the area. It forms the Afif Governorate along with the surrounding towns and villages. The town has taken the name Afif from an old well in the area, which people used to pass by on their way to Mecca to get fresh water. It is also known as the first landing site of the first airplane owned by King Abdulaziz the first king of Saudi Arabia.