Saab Sensis Commissions 35th ASDE-X System

Saab Sensis Corporation, a subsidiary of the defense and security company Saab AB, has commissioned the 35th deployment of the Federal Aviation Administrations (FAA) Airport Surface Detection Equipment, Model X (ASDE-X) program to major U.S. airports. ASDE-X, the FAAs primary runway incursion detection and alerting system, is now operational at all 35 airports for the improvement of runway safety and efficiency.

ASDE-X combines surface movement radar, multilateration and Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) surveillance to provide air traffic controllers with highly accurate, real-time position and identification information of aircraft and vehicles on the airport surface. By integrating multiple surveillance technologies, the system delivers a comprehensive picture of ground operations in the movement area, increasing controller situational awareness and improving airport safety in all weather conditions. The system also features advanced runway conflict detection and alerting technology, Safety Logic, which uses complex algorithms to alert controllers of potential aircraft or vehicle incursions.

The successful design, testing and deployment of 35 ASDE-X systems to some of the busiest and most complex airports in the world is a significant achievement in the advancement of runway incursion prevention and serves as a model for airport surface safety, said Ken Kaminski, vice president and general manager of Saab Sensis.

ASDE-X is also a flexible enabling technology for new safety and efficiency solutions. ASDE-X is serving as the surveillance infrastructure for the FAAs Runway Status Lights (RWSL) program, which is being deployed by Saab Sensis to 23 U.S. airports. Additionally, at JFK International Airport, the ASDE-X system is providing the surveillance for NextGen surface traffic management initiatives that foster collaborative decision making among airport stakeholders to improve surface efficiency.

We are leveraging the precise surveillance data from ASDE-X for the FAAs Runway Status Lights program to provide an even greater level of surface safety. In addition, Saab Sensis will continue to support ASDE-X through ongoing enhancements and adaptations to meet the evolution of the airports and the rapidly changing needs of air traffic controllers, said Kaminski.

In 2000, Sensis was selected by the FAA to provide ASDE-X at 25 U.S. airports, later expanded to 35 airports. In less than three years, the first ASDE-X site, General Mitchell International Airport, received an in-service decision that cleared the way for deployment and operational use of the system in the National Airspace System (NAS). In 2010, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released its updated Most Wanted List Transportation Safety Improvements, which upgraded the status of its runway safety recommendations. In response to the updated list, the FAA noted that the deployment of ASDE-X and RWSL are addressing the NTSBs recommendation to give immediate warnings of probable collisions/incursions directly to flight crews in the cockpit.

Facts about the ASDE-X program include:

  • ASDE-X is deployed at 12 of the 30 busiest airports in the world
  • Five of the top 10 busiest airports, including the busiest (ATL), are operational with ASDE-X
  • ASDE-X received the 2011 Janes Airport Review ATC Award for Runway Safety


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