A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SCAN
Surveillance, Communications And Navigation (SCAN) technology is based upon U.S. Patent Number 5,153,836, "Universal, Dynamic, Navigation, Surveillance, Emergency Location, and Collision Avoidance System and Method." The SCAN technology is also patented throughout Europe, Canada and Australia. The SCAN monitoring device shown above was used to demonstrate the prevention of runway incursions in tests officially conducted by the FAA.
The FAA has recently adopted the technology concept defined within the SCAN patents and has named it "Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B)." ADS-B is the technical means by which the FAA will implement its new "Free Flight" standard for future air traffic control and air traffic monitoring.
What is SCAN and how does it work? Its makeup is really quite simple. SCAN integrates various cockpit tracking and communication functions (benefits) into a single cost-effective package. The technology hardware and the software are modular in design. Its various components can be applied equally in air, land, sea and space venues. Unlike traditional radar, SCAN is based upon communicating position reports and other messages via wireless datalink. Primary position information may come from such sources as GPS, LORAN C, DME, DECCA, OMEGA, barometric altimeters, re-broadcast radar reports, etc. A computer processor displays each craft's relative position, along with other messages, to all other SCAN users within range. A single instrument replaces an otherwise series of expensive, dedicated cockpit instruments normally needed to navigate, track and communicate to resolve traffic conflicts.
Everyone who travels--whether a pilot, member of a crew or passenger, and whether traveling by air, land or sea-- is deeply concerned about safety. SCAN has been specifically designed to give pilots a clear view of their operating environment and to issue sufficient advance warning of any impending circumstance that may have a negative impact on safety. In addition to tracking all other craft in the area, such additional information as graphic weather in real time, precision approach capability, filing flight plans, issuing and receiving airport traffic information (ATIS) reports, pilot reports (PIREPS), notices to airmen (NOTAMS) and other warnings, can be routinely reported via datalink. Such additional information as obstructions, warning of equipment malfunction, physical incapacity, illness, instantaneous emergency location for search and rescue, or even an inadvertant terrorist act, can instantly be communicated to other SCAN users or to ground-based station operators. Military uses of SCAN would include virtual operations for friend/foe identification as well as terrain following. Election of the U.S. Military to conduct maneuvers via precise GPS signals coupled to ADS-B technology provides additional safety benefits. With SCAN, military pilots can discreetly monitor positions of other military, or non-military ADS-B equipped craft, or they can conduct mutually cooperative operations in unison with commercial and private aviation where needed.
According to the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO), the current air traffic control system is dangerously antiquated. A solution is urgently needed. The FAA and the aviation community agree that full implementation of ADS-B technology like SCAN would end mid-air collisions, reduce aviation related fatalities by 80%, improve gate-gate scheduling and save $3.5 billion annually in fuel.
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