Anchorage Firm Becomes First To Export Capstone Technology
ADS-B Technologies says it's become the first to export Capstone
technology out of the US. Company President Skip Nelson said his
firm has signed a contract with the Civil Aviation Flight
University of China to sell US-developed Capstone products and
services in Asia.
Automatic Dependent Surveillance–Broadcast (ADS-B) will be
used in the University's training areas, and aircraft flying in
China's Sichuan province.
ADS-B also called Capstone marries Global Positioning System
information with high frequency radio waves to transmit the
location of aircraft, identity, destination, speed, and altitude to
a ground based transceiver.
These transceivers called GBTs transmit this information to air
traffic control systems in real time. Radar air traffic control
units transmit information every 12 seconds and are 40 times more
expensive than the new ADS-B technology.
"This is a real breakthrough and the first foreign use of a new
technology that many experts feel will someday replace air traffic
control radar around the world," Nelson said. "We're particularly
proud that UAT was perfected right here in Alaska's FAA Capstone
Program and that we can now export it as Alaska's gift to the
UATs or Universal Access Transceivers are mounted in the
aircraft and operate on the 978 MHz band, transmitting air-to-air,
and air-to-ground, while receiving GPS information. This data is
translated and melded with color moving map terrain displays in the
First developed and tested by the FAA Alaska Region's Capstone
Program, it is credited with reducing aircraft accidents in Alaska
by more than 43% since its introduction in 2000.
"Thanks to strong support from Alaska's Congressional leaders
and the State's aviation industry, the program is also heralded as
one of the most successful government-industry partnership in US
aviation today," said Marion Blakely FAA's top administrator
recently at an aviation conference in Anchorage.
While the exact details of the contract are still proprietary,
"China's decision to first test and evaluate UAT in the relatively
controlled environment of the University's flight training program
is a sound one," Nelson said. "If we're successful, more than 100
aircraft and five ranges will eventually be equipped. This may lead
to widespread use throughout China and may become the model for
ADS-B deployments in other developing nations and around the
Contract arrangements include the exclusive use of US equipment
and a stipulation that patent and intellectual property rights will
UAT was originally developed by the MITRE Corporation and the
Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) for small
aircraft. Large commercial aircraft are beginning to use a similar
ADS-B system operating on a different frequency.