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Capacity of the Nationwide VHF Air/Ground Radio System for Air Traffic Services

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3 Author(s)
Box, F. ; Center for Adv. Aviation Syst. Dev., MITRE Corp., McLean, VA ; Long, P.I. ; Snow, R.E.

Increasing the capacity of the very high frequency air/ground (A/G) radio system that supports United States air traffic control is a major reason for upgrading the system to a four-slot time-division multiple-access (TDMA) architecture. Since aviation safety requires a dedicated, immediately accessible A/G circuit for each controller, the thousands of circuits in the nationwide system must have compatible frequency/slot assignments that will allow them all to operate simultaneously if necessary. System capacity may be defined as the size to which the system can grow before it will no longer be feasible to find a compatible assignment for every required new circuit. This paper describes a strategy for combining A/G circuits into multislot TDMA "bundles" in a way that will enhance capacity by efficiently using available frequencies and slots. To quantify the resultant capacity gain, the authors have applied the strategy in a series of nationwide system growth simulations, noting the numbers of hypothetical future circuit requirements that were met before frequency denials started to become necessary in some cases. Their results indicate that the capacity of the TDMA version of the system would be 2.8-3.7 times that of the present-day AM analog version

Published in:

Vehicular Technology, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 5 )

Date of Publication:

Sept. 2006

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