Friday, April 17, 2009

Why Don’t They Use ADS-B ?

After all, ADS-B is cheaper, right ?

Lockheed To Support Brazil Air Surveillance Radar

”Lockheed signed a $1.6 million contract with the Brazilian Air Force for support services for six long-range TPS-77 air surveillance radars Brazil uses to monitor airspace in the Amazon, Lockheed announced at the Latin America Aerospace and Defense conference.“

Remember, Hank Krakowski, COO of the FAA, said that “radar is going away”. I -- and the U.S. military -- say it isn’t. You’ll just pay for both systems.

You might want to start thinking of ADS-B in terms of the SST. We can build an SST. We just can’t make it economically viable. We can build an ADS-B system. I just question whether we need to or not. It won’t replace radar because it can’t fulfill the defense mission of radar. I also question the need to run airplanes closer together when we don’t have the runway capacity needed to make that useful.

Let me reiterate that I don’t necessarily think running airplanes closer together is a wise idea -- from a safety standpoint. Even with increased accuracy, cutting the distance between planes means cutting the reaction time available for when things go wrong.

While I have you thinking about the limits of technology, let me steer you to another aviation story.

174th flies over Yankee Stadium for home opener

”"We can put four airplanes over the top of maybe, arguably maybe the busiest air traffic control area in the world, on time, and be at that final note, looking great and flying in formation to help kick off the celebration of the opening of Yankee Stadium," Bradley said. “

Now, getting four F-16s over the top of a stadium on the final note of the National Anthem is a pretty interesting thought...but it was this little tidbit that got my attention.

”The mission was one of just a few more opportunities before the F-16 is phased out and the unmanned MQ-9 is phased in. The F-16 will take part in its final mission before next March.“

Just in case you are like me and don’t know what an MQ-9 is, it is one of these things.

And in case you think that is a Predator, think again. A Predator has a 119 hp piston engine. This thing has a 950 hp turboprop.

The thing I want you to think about, though, is that a turboprop is replacing a supersonic military jet. You might be tempted to think, in that the MQ-9 is a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), it is replacing a pilot. It isn’t. The pilot just stays on the ground to fly it. Just food for thought.

Don Brown
April 17, 2009

No comments: