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Space-based SSR constellation for global air traffic control

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4 Author(s)
G. Galati ; DISP, Tor Vergata Univ., Rome, Italy ; G. Perrotta ; S. Di Girolamo ; R. Mura

Advanced surveillance and communications are the main functions needed for an efficient Air Traffic Control/Management (ATC/ATM). In order to perform them over the entire Earth, a novel architecture is described and evaluated. It supplies the surveillance and data link capabilities of advanced Secondary Surveillance Radar (SSR) Mode S world-wide by means of a constellation of medium orbit satellites carrying SSR Mode S interrogators with phased-array antennas; no new equipment is required on-board aircraft, because the standard transponders are used. The rationale for the study, the system geometry, the link budget computation, the accuracy requirements as well as the subsequent design of the payload and of the optimized constellations needed for global coverage with high location accuracy are described. Moreover, details are given about the design of the spacecraft and of the main units of the space segment. The encouraging results of this overall system study pave the way to a demonstration based on simulators and ground prototypes of the critical parts.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems  (Volume:32 ,  Issue: 3 )