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11/17/06 -- UND Aerospace Researcher Awarded $302,459 Grant To Study Safety-Enhancing Technology
University of North Dakota aerospace researcher Peter Schumacher recently was awarded a two-year $302,459 Embry Riddle award for a project titled “Evaluating the Effectiveness of ADS-B in the Collegiate Flight Training Environment.”
“We’re going to evaluate the effectiveness of automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) equipment,” said Schumacher. ADS-B is new technology that provides pilots with accurate in flight traffic, weather, and terrain information. When properly integrated into operations and management functions, ADS-B has the potential to significantly improve overall system safety and efficiency, Schumacher explains.
Schumacher says the grant money will be used to buy and install ADS-B equipment in UND’s fixed-wing aircraft. Data then will be collected from every UND flight to quantify the benefits of this new technology. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) intends to combine research findings from UND and other institutions to set up revamped guidelines for the National Airspace System; these guidelines likely will include ADS-B, Schumacher says. UND was selected as one of the initial participants to prove this new technology. Equipping UND’s fleet of aircraft and initial data gathering is only the first step-Schumacher expects that more funding for this research will be forthcoming.
Basically, ADS-B relies on the global positioning system (GPS) to determine an aircraft’s precise position in space; position data, plus additional information such as aircraft type, speed, flight number, and whether climbing or descending, is updated every second and broadcast on a discreet frequency. Other ADS-B-equipped aircraft can receive these broadcasts and display the information on cockpit monitors. Unlike conventional radar, Schumacher notes, ADS-B works at low altitudes and on the ground, and is independent of ground-based radars or transponders. Thus it can be seen by pilots and air traffic controllers simultaneously, allowing real-time awareness of the current flight environment.
Contacts: Peter Schumacher, Aviation Dept., UND Aerospace, (701) 777-6343, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Juan Pedraza, writer/editor
UND Office of University Relations, (701) 777-6034, email@example.com