Avionics News March 2017 - 44
WHAT'S NEXT WITH NEXTGEN?
Continued from page 43
In its simplest form, NextGen Data Comm technology
supplements voice communications between controllers
and pilots with digital, text-based messaging capabilities.
The benefit is it reduces the time pilots and controllers
spend talking. For example, at towers where Data Comm
is available, controllers can "text" departure clearances to
the flight crew. After receiving and reviewing the clearance,
the pilot only needs to press a button on the FMS to
automatically download the information.
The many workload-reducing and safety-enhancing
benefits of Data Comm open up NextGen to an array of
new capabilities that will stretch well into the future. For
example, according to the FAA, Data Comm is expected to
save operators more than $10 billion during the 30-year life
cycle of the program and save the FAA more than $1 billion
in operating costs.
En Route Automation Modernization
Considered the most complex technology replacement
program in FAA history, ERAM is fundamental to making
many of the NextGen benefits possible. At the core of
ERAM implementation was the complete replacement of
the legacy Host computer system that had run the ATC
network for decades.
Completed in 2015, ERAM now covers the nation's
3.2 million square miles of airspace and controls more
than 30 million flights annually. The system also handles
all NextGen data for ADS-B, data communications,
performance-based navigation, system wide information
management and advanced traffic flow capabilities.
ERAM's capabilities also significantly improve flight
plan processing by including a new 4-D trajectory
capability - 3-D plus time - for every flight from takeoff to
NAS Voice System
When fully implemented in 2026, the NVS will replace
the current - and virtually obsolete - point-to-point voiceswitching ATC communications technology with secure,
digital Voice Over Internet Protocol technology, or VoIP.
NVS will enable ATC communications to seamlessly
move from one location to another anywhere in the
NAS network. This will give controllers at one center
the capability to handle aircraft in another region of the
country. For example, NVS would have eliminated the
catastrophic mess caused by the 2014 Chicago ARTC fire.
The FAA also envisions that NVS's digital capabilities
will help support the emerging requirements for handling
unmanned aircraft systems in the NAS.
In its simplest form, PBN is a much more advanced
form of RNAV with the enhanced benefits of onboard
performance monitoring and alerting capability.
PBN's area navigation and required navigation
performance utilizes a combination of satellites and
onboard avionics to enable navigational procedures that
are far more precise and accurate than what standard,
ground-based navigation aids can deliver. The unparalleled
accuracy of the navigation information will permit aircraft
to fly more accurate and often shorter routes.
Among PBN's other NAS benefits is equivalent lateral
spacing operations. Thanks to the unprecedented navigation
precision found in PBN, ELSO reduces the required
angle of spacing between departing aircraft from 15 to 10
degrees, which increases throughput and reduces departure
System Wide Information Management
SWIM provides the digital, data-sharing backbone
for the NextGen network. By transforming the analogbased communications network into a digitally-based
infrastructure, SWIM will permit aircraft operators, ATC
managers/controllers, the Federal Air Marshall Service, the
Department of Defense and a wide set of stakeholders to
share critical information in real time.
In addition, SWIM will provide a new surface
visualization tool that will display terminal surface data in
the Terminal Radar Approach Control Facilities. SVT will
make it easy for TRACON controllers to spot congestion
and implement en route traffic flow changes.
SWIM Flight Data Publication Service will provide
real-time flight and traffic flow information to FAA users,
operators, air carriers, airports and other customers to
maintain common situational awareness across the NAS.
Included in these NextGen capabilities is the digital
distribution of corresponding NOTAMs to pilots flying a
Terminal Automation Modernization
The role of TAMR is to combine the current diverse
array of air traffic control technologies into a single,
state-of-the-art platform called the Standard Terminal
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