When you get on an airplane, there is no reasonable assurance that you will not be hit by another airplane.
The only thing keeping that from happening most of the time is that it is a big sky and there are few airplanes.
The problem, as published by the FAA: Only 4% of transponders work right.
The problem, as published by an air traffic controller: I don't see what really is.
The reason for the problem, as published by: the Institute of Navigation 58th Annual and CIGTF 21st.
The only solution, as published in the lead paper at the 45th Annual Air Traffic Control Association.
This is a problem easily solved.
This solution is the only one which is safe and effective. It is also low cost.
This is the only dual redundant system of systems for collision avoidance.
This is the only autonomous system - independent of all other systems and people.
The only impediment to implementation is the FAA.
What is AIS-P?
AIS-P is the acronym for Automatic Independent Surveillance - Privacy (security). This is a thirty year old, internationally accepted, ICAO standardized, time proven technology, recently upgraded with modern integrated circuit technology. The FAA has granted AIS-P the lowest priority for certification in this country (no money in the budget for travel to come look at it). AIS-P allows more pilots in the cockpit (and more air traffic controllers on the ground) to "see" aircraft traffic, with much more reliability and precision than has been possible ever before. This feature is the source of the resistance; it enables a distributed (cockpit based) second solution to the problem of "see and avoid", while repairing ATCRBS "radar". AIS-P is the only solution that works in the traffic densities in the worst possible density environments. AIS-P can make flying safer, and can allow more efficient use of our airspace, while accommodating millions of more aircraft than we have to deal with now. No other solution can do that.
AIS-P equipped aircraft broadcast their position and velocity via a single standard 64 microsecond mode S packet on the transponder frequency. Because this IC takes over the transponder, it also allows for the errors in TSO C74c to be corrected, so that "radar" works again. That provides dual independent collision avoidance systems which are totally compatible and inter operable. No unnecessary digital data is provided, all necessary data not broadcast can be derived off-link, so all target information is available.
TailLight receivers, built from another IC, are installed aboard the aircraft outside the valuable panel area, and provide users a reliable accurate specification of real-time aviation traffic, both in the air and on the ground. This is indicated through a third party display using a third party moving map software product.
Unlike conventional radar, AIS-P works at low altitudes and on the ground, so that it can be used to monitor traffic on the taxiways and runways of an airport. It is effective in remote areas, or in mountainous terrain, where there is no radar coverage, or where radar coverage is limited.
Not an "everything for everybody" product, the only thing that AIS-P does is to provide the same real-time information to pilots in aircraft cockpits, and to ground controllers, so that, for the first time, they can both "see" the same traffic picture, while also increasing reliability. Unlike any other product proposed or existing, it does this in today's density of traffic, and remains totally capable tomorrow. Unlike the relatively poor reliability of any other product, AIS-P does this with dual independent sensory systems (it also fixes broken FAA TSO C74c ATCRBS "radar").
How does it work?
AIS-P relies on the space based GNSS satellite systems to determine an aircraft's precise position and velocity. Unfortunately, GPS suffers from the "single string" reliability problem. So, we fix that, this is the only GPS receiver that can, in a fully automated (no keyboard to enter required instructions) package.
The system then combines that data with that from the internationally standardized pressure altitude encoder, and converts the 3D position and velocity into a digital code, which is not combined with other unnecessary information (such as whether turning or climbing or descending) because all necessary information not broadcast can be derived at the TailLight receiver. The digital code, containing only the necessary information, is updated as often as is necessary, and not much more often than is necessary. These combined features allow for millions more traffic reports to be accommodated than is possible with any other system. The packets are broadcast from the aircraft on the transponder frequency, when the transponder is not busy.
Other aircraft and ground stations, using only the common FAA certified transponder antenna, for about 30 miles, receive the broadcasts with the TailLight receiver, and display the information in user friendly format on a common computer screen. Pilots in the cockpit see the traffic on any windows platform. Controllers on the ground can see all targets presented on their regular traffic display screen, if they want to.
What are the Advantages?
AIS-P technology, the cornerstone of a distributed, rather than a centralized, air traffic control system of systems, will improve aviation safety by giving pilots in the cockpit, and controllers on the ground, reliable, accurate, real-time information about aviation traffic. The same IC technology can, of course, be used for vehicular and maritime application (suggest a different frequency for a combined R/T unit).
By using existing, proven, internationally standardized, and universally accepted mode S digital communications technology, AIS-P can be implemented rapidly for a lower cost than any other system.
As an integral part of the aircraft transponder, the system-on-a-chip all digital implementation increases ATCRBS reliability, eliminates the need for ATCRBS biennial "tuning", increases ATCRBS performance over temperature range, and decreases the cost of manufacture of the transponder, when combined with AIS-P.
AIS-P provides traffic information to pilots that is currently unavailable to them. Because the system has an effective range of about 30 miles, AIS-P provides a totally sufficient margin in which to implement conflict detection and resolution, without the capacity limitation and false alerts that occur with any other system.
Pilots and controllers using AIS-P will be able to determine not only the position of conflicting traffic, but will clearly see the traffic's direction, speed and relative altitude. As the conflicting traffic turns, accelerates, climbs or descends, AIS-P will indicate the changes clearly and immediately.
The AIS-P system can further enhance aviation safety through features such as automatic traffic call outs or warnings of imminent runway incursion.
In addition to increasing safety in the general aviation environment, AIS-P technology works well for use in airline and in airport surface vehicles -- providing affordable, effective surveillance of all air and ground traffic, even on airport fuel farms and service areas and taxiways and runways, and in airspace where radar is ineffective or unavailable.
Finally, but exceedingly important, AIS-P was designed, from the start, to specifically NOT be able to be used as a terrorist weapon, both disallowing and spoofing the easy destruction of a specific named target aircraft in the air or on the ground by any non technical person afforded by the ADS-B system.
What are the Disadvantages?
AIS-P is purpose built for collision avoidance, only. Aircraft cannot use AIS-P to receive graphical or picture information, cannot send and receive typewriter messages or hand written flight advisories, cannot have typewritten conversations with air traffic control, cannot remotely enable the sending of video from the cockpit to prove the health of the pilots, cannot remotely enable the sending of streaming audio of recorded past cockpit conversations to check up on the pilots, cannot automatically send the aircraft owner address for computer generated mailing of traffic tickets, does not provide easy shoot-me-down automatic streaming targeting information to low technology terrorists, cannot send or receive e-mail, cannot browse the internet, with a full authority fly by wire control system (Airbus, not yet Boeing) cannot remotely disconnect the cockpit and take control over flying the aircraft. Heretofore, the useful of these services have been elsewhere inexpensively available for widespread use in aviation.
Comparison with the closest technology competitor
There is politics involved.
What does AIS-P look like, consist of, and cost?In Kit Form (experimental and non leased part 91 aircraft)
In FAA Certified Form (leased part 91 and other commercial aircraft)
Our FAA Complaints Page
TailLight Consortium technical research page