Preliminary results of Mode-S/3D Trial

PilotAware has been supporting a pure Bearingless target mode of detection for a number of years. This has been somewhat controversial with supporters and opponents having equally considered views on its usefulness. Given this background we have been working to improve this mode of operation with enhanced capabilities. Hence the idea was developed for Mode-S/3D, to augment the existing system with MLAT data, provided by 360Radar, to improve upon the data available from Mode-S bearingless targets. The Mode-S/3D Trial is due to conclude its first phase, therefore we would like to share our findings on the usage over the last 3-6 months, of this joint undertaking between 360Radar and PilotAware.

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PilotAware Mode-S/3D

With an estimated 5000+ UK GA aircraft equipped with Mode-S transponders it’s a pity that the technology hasn’t been available to plot local Mode-S targets on a tablet or navigational aid. Here’s the good news, it soon will be!

PilotAware is pleased to announce that for the past 6 months it has been conducting a proof of concept trial for the next real step change in situational awareness. Mode-S/3D.

Working in close collaboration with 360Radar, which has 800+ receivers in the UK, for the first time it is now possible to up-link multilateration (MLAT) data to enhance the position of Mode-S equipped aircraft detected by PilotAware. Mode-S/3D allows the accurate height, received from the Mode-S transmission, to be augmented with the X, Y co-ordinates available from the MLAT feed at the instant of the time stamp within the accuracy margins of MLAT.

 

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Instantaneous location information is passed to and displayed by the navigation aid as normal.  As the data ages the size of the ambiguity, due to the transition of the target from the time of reception, is regularly displayed. This can be on the PilotAware RADAR screen or Flight-Bags that implement GDL90 and include NACp for denoting a degraded target. Recalculated MLAT data resets the process after a few seconds.