Saab Sensis WAM Enhances Flight Safety at Edinburgh Airport

NATS, the Air Navigation Service Provider at the United Kingdoms major airports, has commissioned and accepted into operational service Saab Sensis Corporations Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) system at Edinburgh Airport (EDI).
Saab Sensis, a subsidiary of the defense and security company Saab, has delivered a WAM system that is providing NATS air traffic controllers with the precise surveillance needed for separation of flights arriving and departing from EDI. NATS installed and validated the WAM and transitioned it to service as the first operational use of WAM surveillance at a UK airport.

At Edinburgh, Scotlands busiest airport, Saab Sensis WAM is replacing Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR). The Saab Sensis system is providing surveillance of commercial, general aviation and helicopter traffic to a range of 60 nautical miles from the airport. NATS controllers at Edinburgh are using the WAM surveillance to provide a separation service to aircraft within their Terminal Maneuvering Area.

WAM has effectively replaced MSSR as the terminal area surveillance source for aircraft separation at this busy airport, said Iain Harris, Director, NATS Engineering. This technology is a more flexible long-term solution that is more accurate and suitable for this operational requirement than a traditional MSSR.

Saab Sensis multilateration uses multiple low-maintenance, non-rotating sensors to triangulate aircraft location based on transponder signals, providing air traffic controllers with precise aircraft position and identification information regardless of weather conditions. With a higher update rate and greater positional accuracy than traditional radar, Saab Sensis multilateration delivers effective surveillance for increased safety, capacity and efficiency of airspace and surface operations.

By employing advanced processing techniques, a Saab Sensis multilateration system uses the minimal number of sensors for a less complex, lower lifecycle-cost solution. Additionally, each multilateration sensor deployed by Saab Sensis supports Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B), providing an infrastructure that is ready for todays surveillance needs and tomorrows avionics.

Saab Sensis WAM provides NATS with the precise surveillance it needs today while being ready for tomorrows avionics such as ADS-B, said Ken Kaminski, senior vice president and general manager of Saab Sensis. Additionally, the system can easily be expanded into a wider surveillance network for en route coverage.

Almost 100 sites worldwide have chosen Saab Sensis multilateration to enhance safety, efficiency, capacity and cost savings through airport surface surveillance, wide area (WAM) surveillance and airport surface management. In the United Kingdom, NATS already employs Saab Sensis WAM to provide aircraft surveillance in the airspace over the North Sea and surface multilateration at Londons Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports.
Rob Conrad
Saab Sensis


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