FAA places $100 million order

The US Federal Aviation Administration has exercised existing contract options to purchase 21 Airport Surface Detection Equipment systems from Sensis Corporation for $100 million.

Sensis Corporation has announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a letter of intent to exercise contract options to purchase 21 Airport Surface Detection Equipment (ASDE-X) systems and associated equipment and services. The estimated value of these options is $100 million.

Sensis Corporation and its team mate, were awarded the ASDE-X first article contract in October 2000 and are currently performing first article acceptance testing to validate system performance. The letter communicates the FAA’s intent to commence full-scale production of the ASDE-X system for installation at 21 airports.

The ASDE-X system is said to integrate five enabling technologies: transponder multilateration surveillance; surface movement radar; ADS-B, multi-sensor data fusion and control tower display equipment.

A transponder multilateration system interacts with an aircraft’s transponder to determine the aircraft’s position and its unique identification, whilst surface movement radar uses traditional radar principles to search for and track an aircraft or vehicle non-cooperatively by measuring reflected energy.

ADS-B is a new surveillance concept in which aircraft periodically broadcast their position, velocity, heading and other information as determined by their avionics for processing by other systems.

The fusion of the data from these surveillance sources will reportedly improve surface surveillance by providing air traffic controllers with accurate position and identification information for aircraft throughout the entire airport surface in all weather conditions.