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The National Airspace Systems (NAS) of the United States is the safest and most productive in the world. However, the FAA has estimated that air traffic is expected to increase 30% by the year 2010, and Boeing's commercial market outlook projects a doubling of air traffic by 2020. This increased demand for air travel, coupled with the limitations of the current communication, navigation and surveillance (CNS) and air traffic management (ATM) system results in system delays and schedule unreliability that threatens the economic viability of the airlines. In addition, the events of September 11, 2001 have revealed the vulnerability of civil aviation to terrorist attack. In response, the FAA is seeking a new generation of decision support tools and is working to identify and develop new technologies to reduce system delays while permitting continued growth of air traffic in a safer and more secure environment. There is also heightened concern about security of the aviation CNS systems and associated infrastructure brought about by the tragic events of September 11, 2001. In 2002 Congress expressly directed the FAA to explore space-based CNS concepts for managing air traffic in the future NAS. The GCNSS program explores and develops next-generation CNS/ATM concepts and provides for demonstrations of the application of space-based CNS technologies and of secure networking technology to enhance the capacity, efficiency, and security of air travel in the NAS. This paper highlights demonstrations of GCNSS technologies and the future ATM system they support.
Digital Avionics Systems Conference, 2003. DASC '03. The 22nd (Volume:1 )
Date of Conference: 12-16 Oct. 2003