Africa Aerospace & Defense 2014

Watching over Africa’s skies [AAD141]

17 September 2014

Czech Republic-based company ERA, a pioneer in multilateration and next-generation surveillance solutions, is presenting its systems here at the show as part of the Czech delegation on Stand B20 in Hangar 5.

The company is already well known in Africa for its flight tracking systems for air traffic management (ATM). Its systems have been installed in three African countries over the past 10 years.

Those in Egypt and South Africa serve for airport surface safety as part of Advanced Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS), while the Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) system in Namibia covers the airspace of the country as the only surveillance system for local ATM authorities.

ERA was contracted to implement multilateration/ ADS-B surface surveillance systems at Cape Town airport, as part of the consortium led by French company SEEE-IS (INEO), which was awarded a contract by South African air navigation service provider ATNS. The pilot project, for which the company installed ground stations at the airport and WAM in surrounding mountains, was intended to demonstrate the potential and feasibility of multilateration systems in South Africa. A successful trial period in Cape Town resulted in certification by the South African Civil Aviation Authority in 2006. At that time, it was the first certified system of its kind on the African continent.

ERA was later awarded a contract to provide the Johannesburg airport with its multisensor surveillance system (MSS) and Squid vehicle tracking units, and to extend Cape Town’s system capabilities with additional sensors over a wide area and surface surveillance. The MSS is a high performance, cost-effective system dedicated to providing surveillance data of all Mode A/C/S transponder-equipped aircraft, vehicles and other targets on the airport surface and in the airport vicinity. It operates under all climate conditions in temperatures from -15°C to +40°C, and relative humidity of 20-90 per cent with no condensation.

The WAM in Namibia is the largest system of its kind in the world both in terms of area (a territory as large as Germany and France combined) and the number of ground stations deployed across the entire country. The Namibia WAM system employs 54 widely separated and unmanned ground-based stations, which face all climate challenges.

The solution for Egypt’s Cairo airport to maintain complete surveillance across the entire airport was provided by Holland Institute of Traffic Technology in co-operation with ERA, whose MSS comprises 35 ground stations covering the approximately 37km2 of the airport.

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