NG texts nextgen DOD avionics

Northrop Grumman has successfully demonstrated a low-cost, certified avionics system designed to provide U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) aircraft next-generation capabilities that will be required by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) under its airspace modernization initiatives.

Northrop Grumman’s Communications, Navigation, Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) solution provides a low-cost and effective way to integrate the new FAA mandates into mobility aircraft, enhancing the ability of DOD aircraft to carry out missions worldwide in both tactical and civil airspace.

The company said its CNS/ATM particularly addresses the new U.S. Air Force requirement to meet many of the requirements of the C-130 Avionics Modernisation Programme with something more affordable.

During the flight test, Northrop Grumman integrated CNS/ATM with its Real Time Situational Awareness (RTSA) system. RTSA provides a tactical common operational picture to all aircraft in a participating area of responsibility.

CNS/ATM uses the T3CAS® Traffic Management Computer from ACSS, an L-3 Communications & Thales Company based in Phoenix. ACSS also provided the C-12 surrogate airframe used in the demonstration.

The August 2013 flight test at Montgomery Field in San Diego was the first to demonstrate that a low-cost, certified CNS/ATM capability with active traffic surveillance and Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) can be integrated into an aircraft for pennies on the dollar compared to a fully integrated solution.

The FAA issued its mandates to increase airspace system capacity and improve airspace efficiency as the civil air traffic management infrastructure evolves to accommodate rapid traffic growth. CNS/ATM capabilities meet critical upgrade requirements, including Mode S-capable transponders, 8.33-KHz VHF radio channel spacing, avionics for required navigation performance and area navigation, reduced vertical separation minimums and ADS-B Out. Military aircraft without these additional navigation and surveillance capabilities risk penalties ranging from inefficient routing to complete denial of airspace by January 1, 2020.

ADS-B will be mandatory in European airspace starting in 2015 under the European Commission’s Surveillance Performance and Interoperability Implementing Rule.

 

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