BAE Systems has created a low-cost system that uses existing satellite navigation and commercial aircraft data to improve airspace safety.
Using the Web Enabled Data Links (WEnDL) system military aircraft can now use vital information about nearby civil aircraft to aid pilot decision-making.
Over the past two years, BAE Systems has been assessing the Automatic Dependent Surveillance—Broadcast (ADS–B) system as a means of passing civilian aircraft flight data via a tactical data link gateway enabling military aircraft to monitor general air traffic.
ADS-B is a surveillance technology which tracks and broadcasts the location of aircraft using satellite navigation. The WEnDL system can access the data transmitted from ADS-B, channel the relevant information in a simple format and make it available to military aircraft.
This system is now fully operational and is being used by earlier tranches of Typhoon aircraft being test-flown at BAE Systems’ site at Warton, Lancashire and is proving to offer exceptional enhanced situational awareness to the pilots.
Steve Formoso, Chief Test Pilot at BAE Systems, said: “WEnDL is a key enabler to the safety and efficiency of test flying operations at our Warton site. The information that WEnDL brings in to the cockpit allows our test crews to operate with greater flexibility as well as increasing their all-round situational awareness of other air traffic around the aircraft during sorties.”