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Austro Control Places Nation-Wide Wide Area Multilateration System Into Operation Across Austria

21 February 2014

Austria’s ANSP Austro Control has placed into operation a nation-wide Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) system. The WAM system from Saab, covering six Terminal Maneuvering Areas and the entire Austrian FIR plus a zone of 40NM beyond the FIR-border in high density airspace, provides highly accurate surveillance data, with a one-second update rate to the Austrian Air Traffic Management System. 

Based on the success of the WAM system in the Innsbruck Valley, Austro Control decided to deploy WAM nationwide to complement and in some cases replace secondary surveillance radars. The new WAM system addresses the surveillance needs of today and prepares for future nationwide ADS-B coverage while significantly reducing lifecycle operating cost over traditional radar. 

The system uses multiple low-maintenance, non-rotating sensors to triangulate aircraft location based on transponder signals. This provides air traffic controllers with precise aircraft position and identification information regardless of weather conditions. This, highly reliable system is capable of processing more than 2,000 targets while delivering better performance than the EUROCAE ED-142 standard requires. With a higher update rate and greater positional accuracy than traditional radar, multilateration delivers effective surveillance for increased safety, capacity and efficiency of airspace and surface operations. 

The Austrian WAM system is comprised of 61 sensors and a redundant central processing system that provides data directly to Eurocontrol’s Air Traffic Management SuRveillance Tracker and Server (ARTAS) where ARTAS correlates WAM data with data from existing radars for a fused output. 

The initial operational use of the system is in the en-route airspace covering more than 70% of the Austrian air traffic; the terminal area coverage volumes are expected to be integrated into full operational status in 2014.

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