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Globalstar ADS-B System

August 2014 Flight Demonstration

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Globalstar's Space-Based ADS-B

What is ADS-B?
ADS-B is radically new technology that is redefining the paradigm of communications, navigation and surveillance in Air Traffic Management today. Already proven in the field and internationally certified as a viable low cost replacement for conventional radar, ADS-B allows pilots and air traffic controllers to "see" and control aircraft with more precision and over a far larger percentage of the earth's surface than has ever been possible before.

  • Automatic – "Always ON" – No operator attention is required
  • Dependent – Relies on very accurate GNSS position data
  • Surveillance – Provides aircraft position, altitude, speed, heading,
    identification and other data
  • Broadcast – Requires no interrogation, or triggering by other stations – data is broadcast to any aircraft or ground station equipped to receive the data link signal

How Does Traditional ADS-B Work?
Essentially, ADS-B is a one-for-one replacement for Radar, except that ADS-B is more accurate, reliable and far more cost effective than Radar. ADS-B capable aircraft use an ordinary GNSS (GPS) receiver to derive their precise position from the GNSS constellation, then combine that position with any number of aircraft variables, such as speed, heading, altitude, type of aircraft and flight number. This information is then simultaneously broadcast line-of-sight to Air Traffic Control ADS-B receivers on the ground and to other aircraft equipped to receive it.

How Does Space-Based ADS-B Work?
When an ADS-B equipped aircraft is over the horizon from an ADS-B ground station, the Globalstar Constellation merely provides an alternate delivery path for the ADS-B signal. Our Space-Based enhancement to ADS-B is a true over-the-horizon air traffic management system capable of delivering an uncorrupted ADS-B digital message every second from virtually any ADS-B avionics system to Air Traffic Control. In essence, this extends ADS-B into areas where a conventional line-of-sight connection between the aircraft and a terrestrial ADS-B ground station is either impossible or impractical to maintain.

We call our system the ADS-B Link Augmentation System (ALAS). It is a simple, low cost peripheral that is designed to be compatible with virtually any ADS-B avionics installation. It also does not interfere with the aircraft's normal ADS-B transmissions. ALAS prototypes have been flying successfully since 2010 and we hope to have full certification by mid-2015. End User and Air Navigation Service Provider costs for our system are expected to be the lowest in the industry.

In sum, we currently rely upon WWII-era passive radar systems to monitor the location of commercial aircraft. The FAA has mandated that all commercial aircraft must be equipped with ADS-B by 2020. Other space-based ADS-B tracking solutions may not be built out until the end of the decade and will have a 10-15 second delay in tracking planes. That's an enormous difference, as Globalstar's solution can track down to the second.


Video Highlights

Interview with CNBC - Globalstar's "killer" app for 75% of planet

air test

Space-Based ADS-B Airborne Tests


Michael Smerconish welcomes Jay Monroe, the CEO of a company with a device that could have tracked Flight 370

wgno abc

Interview with ABC/WGNO - Globalstar develops technology to track flights second-by-second