Saab Sensis Wide Area Multilateration and Precision Runway Monitoring Now Operational at Sydney Airport

Saab Sensis Corporation, a subsidiary of defense and security company Saab, has achieved operational certification from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority of Australia for its deployment of Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) and Precision Runway Monitoring (PRM) at Sydney Airport, Australia.
The WAM system is now providing Airservices Australia air traffic controllers with terminal airspace surveillance for improved coverage and separation services within the airports Terminal Maneuvering Area (TMA) and precision approach surveillance for separation of flights on independent parallel approaches to Sydneys closely spaced parallel runways for increased efficiency. The Sydney WAM system is now the first single WAM system in the industry to simultaneously perform both complex surveillance tasks.

The increase in air traffic at Sydney and the development of the nearby Botany Bay port facility led Airservices to select Saab Sensis to deploy a single WAM system to provide low level terminal airspace surveillance (out to 40 nm) for 3 nm separation services in the TMA and PRM for independent parallel approaches in Instrument Meteorological Conditions.

The sensors used for WAM and PRM are the same as the existing Saab Sensis sensors currently deployed for Sydneys Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS) for simplified maintenance and training.

The single Saab Sensis WAM system is enabling Airservices to achieve two critical goals at once: improve terminal area surveillance and replacement of legacy PRM radar, said Airservices Acting General Manager Technology and Asset Services, Dan Galazowski. We now have a terminal area surveillance solution that further enhances safety and provides the surveillance needed for precision approaches.

Saab Sensis multilateration uses multiple low-maintenance, non-rotating sensors to determine 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 generates effective surveillance for increased safety, capacity and efficiency of airspace. By employing advanced processing techniques, a Saab Sensis multilateration system uses the minimal number of sensors for a less complex 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.

The Saab Sensis system at Sydney is the industrys first dual-use WAM system where a single system is responsible for two complex, disparate surveillance requirements, further demonstrating Saab Sensis ability to meet the most stringent surveillance demands of safety regulators, said Ken Kaminski, vice president and general manager of Saab Sensis. With Saab Sensis WAM, Airservices Australia has a flexible, extensible solution that is compatible with todays and tomorrows avionics and can readily grow with the airport.

Almost 100 sites worldwide have chosen Saab Sensis multilateration to enhance safety, efficiency, capacity and cost savings through airport surface surveillance, wide area surveillance and airport surface management. In Australia, Saab Sensis has deployed an operational WAM system in Tasmania, operational A-SMGCS at Sydney and Melbourne Airports and is deploying A-SMGCS to Brisbane and Perth Airports.
Rob Conrad
ATC Network


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