Air Traffic Awareness Display

January 1, 2000

Pilots of commercial airliners and some business jets have a tool called TCAS which provides them with a display showing the locations of other aircraft in the sky around them. Many people assume that pilots of small aircraft have a similar display – amazingly, that is not the case. Pilots of these general-aviation aircraft rely on the concept of see-and-avoid. They are required to constantly scan the sky to spot other aircraft. With steadily increasing congestion in the skies, see-and-avoid is no longer enough to ensure proper separation for all aircraft.

Irish Rose Consulting worked with a Wisconsin-based company performing research and development in this area. Our client determined that air-traffic controllers have a complete picture of the air traffic in any given geographic area. It was determined
that the data used to produce this display could be sent to the aircraft over a wireless link, and a similar display could be provided to the pilot for a relatively low cost.

Irish Rose Consulting performed the development of several large software systems to facilitate this research and development effort. First, software had to be developed to read the raw data from air-traffic control systems controlled by the Federal
Aviation Administration. Next, multiple wireless data transfer solutions were evaluated and software was developed to handle transmitting data in real-time to aircraft via several of these wireless links. Finally, Irish Rose Consulting developed data presentation software for use by the pilot in the cockpit. This software was developed to quickly give the pilot a picture of his environment, allowing him to concentrate on flying.

Technologies Used

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