SES Techcom, a subsidiary of SES S.A. (NYSE Euronext Paris and Luxembourg Stock Exchange: SESG), announces the launch of the first space-based Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS-B) system to monitor air traffic around the globe.
The ADS-B system is operating on the Proba V satellite of the European Space Agency. Proba V was successfully orbited on May 6, 2013, on board Vega, Europe's small-satellite launch vehicle, during its second successful launch. SES Techcom and DLR German Aerospace Center have provided an instrument that detects ADS-B signals emitted by aircraft from space and a ground solution for data processing and system performance management. In the frame of the project, SES Techcom developed and implemented the ground data processing center, which retrieves, processes, analyses and stores all ADS-B data received from the Proba V satellite.
On-orbit ADS-B instruments with the potential for worldwide coverage can detect and track aircraft, especially in areas not covered by ground-based radar, such as oceans or polar regions. Aircraft fitted with ADS-B broadcast their position, altitude, velocity and other measurements on an automatic basis every second or so. With ADS-B transmissions, aircraft remain continuously visible not only to ground controllers but also to other suitably equipped planes. Proba V will demonstrate how many aircraft of which type can be observed worldwide – different-sized aircraft are assigned ADB-S systems with different signal strengths. The ADS-B system is being phased in on a worldwide basis; all aircraft entering European airspace will have to be equipped with it by 2015.
States Gerhard Bethscheider, Managing Director of SES Techcom S.A.: "This exciting project aims at improving air traffic safety on a global scale. It is the result of a long term partnership between SES Techcom and DLR and is an important milestone on the roadmap for satellite-based ADS-B services. The Proba V demonstration mission allows for the first time the detection of ADS-B signals from 820 km up in orbit and for us to assess the feasibility of exploiting signals from that altitude for future commercial services."
The operation of the ADS-B payload is under the responsibility of DLR German Aerospace Center, while SES Techcom is in charge of the validation of the received ADS-B data.