FAA AND LOCKHEED MARTIN ACHIEVE CRITICAL MILESTONE EARLY IN MODERNIZATION OF EN ROUTE AIRSPACE
Rockville, MD, 05/10/2005 --
Completing yet another milestone early, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Lockheed Martin continue to move forward with air traffic control modernization improvements that will enhance safety and increase the efficiency and capacity of the nation's airspace.
FAA controllers at the Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center began managing air traffic on April 24, 2005 with the new Enhanced Backup Surveillance System, or EBUS. This completes the first operational milestone for the FAA's En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) program six days early and below the target cost. EBUS is the first operational priority for the ERAM program, an evolutionary modernization of the systems and equipment used by controllers to manage air traffic in the en route airspace, above 10,000 feet. The successful upgrade to EBUS sets the foundation for the ERAM program because it will provide an interim solution to address end-of-service issues for the existing back-up system, the Direct Access Radar Channel (DARC) until full system deployment, as well as provide additional safety functions prior to and during ERAM deployment. Lockheed Martin leads a national industry team selected by the FAA in 2002 to implement ERAM in partnership with the agency.
“This successful EBUS upgrade is another important step in the National Airspace System infrastructure modernization,” said Sue Corcoran, vice president for Aviation Programs at Lockheed Martin Transportation and Security Solutions. “With this milestone, the FAA and the Lockheed Martin team have established a solid performance foundation for the ERAM program.”
EBUS replaces hardware and software systems that presently provide back-up radar data processing services at all 20 of the FAA's Air Route Traffic Control Centers across the continental United States. It provides surveillance services and weather information for controllers in the event the primary Host computer system fails or is shut down for maintenance. EBUS also provides greater speed and adds safety features that were not available with the equipment it is replacing.
The Denver center is the first facility to receive the EBUS upgrade as part of a swift national rollout; system upgrades at the remaining 19 sites are expected to be completed by April 2006. To minimize cost and technical risk, the EBUS team re-used existing National Airspace System components previously developed by Lockheed Martin, such as the Display System Replacement (DSR), the En Route Communications Gateway (ECG), and the Micro- En Route Automated Radar Tracking System (Micro-EARTS).
ERAM ultimately will replace the current en route system, comprised of the Host Computer System and the DARC, with a modular, expandable, and economically supportable infrastructure. In support of the FAA’s Operational Evolution Plan objectives and priorities, the ERAM system will handle the en route phase of flight by providing the existing capabilities, plus new enhancements to handle traffic growth until at least 2020.