Lockheed Martin Completes Key Computer Upgrade at Denver Air Traffic Control Center
LONGMONT, CO, April 25th, 2002 -- With the implementation of a critical upgrade at the Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center, Lockheed Martin has successfully achieved another milestone in the ongoing modernization of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) National Airspace System (NAS) infrastructure. Lockheed Martin replaced 14-year-old storage devices as part of its ongoing Host and Oceanic Computer System Replacement (HOCSR) program with the FAA. These devices are part of the Host computer, which performs critical radar and flight management functions; they also hold critical data used to recreate and analyze unusual air traffic control events, ultimately improving safety.
"This successful HOCSR upgrade is another important step in the NAS infrastructure modernization," said Sue Corcoran, vice president for North American Programs at Lockheed Martin Air Traffic Management. "The delivery is another example of Lockheed Martin's continuing commitment to meeting FAA schedule and budget requirements."
The Denver center is the first of 23 en route and oceanic centers that will be upgraded as part of a swift national rollout. System upgrades at the next six sites - New York, Boston, Atlanta, Miami, Seattle and Oakland - are expected to be implemented by the end of May, with the remainder by October.
The HOCSR contract, divided into four phases, was awarded in 1998 and is valued at approximately $226 million. The first phase of the program, which upgraded mainframe computers, was successfully achieved at the first center, New York, in 11 months. Within 17 months of the startup date, all 23 sites had achieved government acceptance.
The Host and Oceanic computers are the foundation of the FAA automated air traffic control environment. They receive, process, coordinate, distribute and track information on aircraft movement throughout the nation's upper airspace and in the oceanic airspace at its borders. The new system is almost five times faster and significantly more reliable than its predecessor. In Phase 2, software was developed to update the control program software. The upgrade of storage devices currently underway is being done under Phase 3. Phase 4, the final phase of the program, will complete the upgrade of the remaining peripheral hardware that comprises the Host Computer System.
"Even when HOCSR is complete, the software that runs on the new hardware is over 30 years old," Corcoran said. "It's written in Jovial and Basic Assembly Language and is difficult to maintain and enhance. The En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) program will re-architect and replace that software. ERAM is the key to completing the NAS upgrade, realizing the necessary efficiencies and airspace capacity improvements, and enabling many of the new automated 'Free Flight' system tools the FAA plans to deploy for air traffic controllers." Award of a contract for the ERAM program has been delayed by over a year due to protests from another contractor.
Lockheed Martin Air Traffic Management has four decades' experience in delivering advanced air traffic management solutions to the FAA and international customers and has formed a world-class team to bid on ERAM. Air Traffic Management focuses on systems integration, engineering, design, development, test, delivery and support of Communications, Navigation, Surveillance (CNS/ATM) systems worldwide. A registered ISO 9001 company, Air Traffic Management employs approximately 1,300 people at major facilities in Rockville, Eagan, Minn., Atlantic City, N.J., and Southampton, England.