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Airport Surface Detection Equipment, Model X (ASDE-X)

Airport Surface Detection Equipment, Model X (ASDE-X) is a sophisticated, Airport surface detection technology. While AMASS is radar-based, meaning signals might bounce off rain and fog, ASDE-X integrates data from a variety of sources, including radars and aircraft transponders, to give controllers a more reliable view of airport operations. Controllers in the tower see the aircraft on a continuously updated color display map and are able to spot potential collisions. ASDE-X capabilities will be added to many of the sites that already have AMASS, as well as other busy airports.

ASDE-X enables air traffic controllers to detect potential runway conflicts by providing detailed coverage of movement on runways and taxiways. By collecting data from a variety of sources, ASDE-X is able to track vehicles and aircraft on the airport movement area and obtain identification information from aircraft transponders.

The data that ASDE-X uses come from surface movement radar located on the air traffic control tower or remote tower, multilateration sensors, ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) sensors, the terminal automation system, and aircraft transponders. By fusing the data from these sources, ASDE-X is able to determine the position and identification of aircraft and transponder-equipped vehicles on the airport movement area, as well as of aircraft flying within five miles of the airport.

Controllers in the tower see this information presented as a color display of aircraft and vehicle positions overlaid on a map of the airport’s runways/taxiways and approach corridors. The system essentially creates a continuously updated map of the airport movement area that controllers can use to spot potential collisions. It will be especially helpful to controllers at night or in bad weather when visibility is poor.

ASDE-X Safety Logic (AXSL) is an enhancement to the situational awareness provided by the ASDE-X system to air traffic controllers. AXSL uses surveillance information from ASDE-X to determine if the current and/or projected positions and movement characteristics of tracked aircraft/vehicles present a potential collision situation. Visual and audible alerts are provided to the controllers, which include critical information about the targets involved, such as identification and surface occupied.

The first ASDE-X was activated for operational use and testing at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in June 2003, and declared ready for national deployment in October 2003. In addition to Milwaukee, ASDE-X also is operational now at the Theodore Francis Green State Airport, Providence, RI; Orlando International Airport, Orlando, FL; William P. Hobby Airport, Houston, TX; Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, St. Louis, MO; Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seattle, WA; Bradley International Airport, Hartford, CT; Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Atlanta, GA; Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Chicago, IL; Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, NC; Louisville International Airport—Standiford Field, Louisville, KY; and Washington Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, VA.

The FAA recently accelerated the ASDE-X schedule and now projects that all systems will be deployed by Fall 2010—one year earlier than originally anticipated.

ASDE-X Deployment Sites

The 35 major airports that will receive, or have already received, ASDE-X include:

(* Indicates ASDE-X is operational at these sites)

Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (Baltimore, MD)
Boston Logan International Airport (Boston, MA)
Bradley International Airport (Hartford, CT)*
Chicago Midway Airport (Chicago, IL)
Chicago O’Hare International Airport (Chicago, IL)*
Charlotte Douglas International Airport (Charlotte, NC)*
Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport (Dallas, TX)
Denver International Airport (Denver, CO)
Detroit Metro Wayne County Airport (Detroit, MI)
Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood Airport (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
General Mitchell International Airport (Milwaukee, WI)*
George Bush Intercontinental Airport (Houston, TX)
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (Atlanta, GA)*
Honolulu International -Hickam Air Force Base Airport (Honolulu, HI)
John F. Kennedy International Airport (New York, NY)
John Wayne-Orange County Airport (Santa Ana, CA)
LaGuardia Airport, (New York, NY)
Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (St. Louis, MO)*
Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas, NV)
Los Angeles International Airport (Los Angeles, CA)
Louisville International Airport-Standiford Field (Louisville, KY)*
Memphis International Airport (Memphis, TN)
Miami International Airport (Miami, FL)
Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (Minneapolis, MN)
Newark International Airport (Newark, NJ)
Orlando International Airport (Orlando, FL)*
Philadelphia International Airport (Philadelphia, PA)
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (Phoenix, AZ)
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (Arlington, VA)
San Diego International Airport (San Diego, CA)
Salt Lake City International Airport (Salt Lake City, UT)
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Seattle, WA)*
Theodore Francis Green State Airport (Providence, RI)*
Washington Dulles International Airport (Chantilly, VA)*
William P. Hobby Airport (Houston, TX)*

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