By David Jensen
OTTAWA, Ontario, 3 Dec. 2009 To expand its surveillance coverage and fill gaps left by secondary radar, Nav Canada is installing both Multilateration, or MLat, and automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) systems. Canada's air navigation service provider (ANSP) plans to have ADS-B furnish surveillance coverage of airspace over remote regions to accommodate primarily the operations of commercial aircraft, equipped with Mode S transponders.
Initial deployment is in the Hudson Bay area to monitor transcontinental flights, including those using polar routes.
According to a Nav Canada spokesman in Ottawa Ontario, separation standards have been reduced from 80 down to five nautical miles, thus facilitating the airlines' ability to follow more efficient routes, burn less fuel and emit less greenhouse gas. Currently, no radar coverage exists over Hudson Bay. ADS-B surveillance became operational in January 2009.
Nav Canada plans to proceed by deploying ADS-B to cover the eastern arctic and North Atlantic, including southern Greenland. Deployment will begin next year.
Ultimately, Nav Canada would like to have the entire country and airspace just outside its borders blanketed with surveillance coverage using a combination of ADS-B, multilateration and radar. This would mean ADS-B surveillance in the western arctic and Canada's east coast.
Meanwhile, the ASPN is deploying multilateration in locations in British Columbia, where a mix of aircraft operate, including ones not equipped with Mode S transponders. MLat will be a decision support tool for air traffic controllers at the Vancouver Harbor Control Tower, which monitors the movements of aircraft ranging from floatplanes to helicopters.
A second MLat system is being deployed for wide area surveillance around Fort St. John Airport in northeastern British Columbia, where there is no radar coverage. The system is meant to improve the rate of arrivals and departures. Both it and the Vancouver Harbor system are slated to be operational in early 2010.
Finally, in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics, Nav Canada is establishing MLat in the "sea-to-sky" corridor between Vancouver and Whistler Mountain, where the games will be held. The ANSP plans to have the system ready in time for the anticipated increase in air traffic during the games.