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Title: A safety assessment framework for Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) and its potential impact on aviation safety
Author: Syd Ali, Busyairah
ISNI:       0000 0004 5648 8324
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2014
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The limitations of the current civil aviation surveillance systems include a lack of coverage in some areas and low performance in terms of accuracy, integrity, continuity and availability particularly in high density traffic areas including airports, with a negative impact on capacity and safety. Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast (ADS-B) technology has been proposed to address these limitations by enabling improved situational awareness for all stakeholders and enhanced airborne and ground surveillance, resulting in increased safety and capacity. In particular, its scalability and adaptability should facilitate its use in general aviation and in ground vehicles. This should, in principle, provide affordable, effective surveillance of all air and ground traffic, even on airport taxiways and runways, and in airspace where radar is ineffective or unavailable. The success of the progressive implementation of ADS-B has led to numerous programmes for its introduction in other parts of the World where the operational environment is considerably different from that of Australia. However, a number of critical issues must be addressed in order to benefit from ADS-B, including the development and execution of a safety case that addresses both its introduction into legacy and new systems' operational concepts, the latter including the Single European Sky (SES) / Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) and the US' Next Generation Air Transportation System (NexGEN). This requires amongst others, a good understanding of the limitations of existing surveillance systems, ADS-B architecture and system failures and its interfaces to the existing and future ATM systems. Research on ADS-B to date has not addressed in detail the important questions of limitations of existing systems and ADS-B failure modes including their characterisation, modelling and assessment of impact. The latter is particularly important due to the sole dependency of ADS-B on GNSS for information on aircraft state and its reliance on communication technologies such as Mode-S Extended Squitter, VHF Data Link Mode-4 (VDLM4) or Universal Access Transceiver (UAT), to broadcast the surveillance information to ground-based air traffic control (ATC) and other ADS-B equipped aircraft within a specified range, all of which increase complexity and the potential for failures. This thesis proposes a novel framework for the assessment of the ADS-B system performance to meet the level of safety required for ground and airborne surveillance operations. The framework integrates various methods for ADS-B performance assessment in terms of accuracy, integrity, continuity, availability and latency, and reliability assessment using probabilistic safety assessment methods; customized failure mode identification approach and fault tree analysis. Based on the framework, the thesis develops a failure mode register for ADS-B, identifies and quantifies the impact of a number of potential hazards for the ADS-B. Furthermore, this thesis identifies various anomalies in the onboard GNSS system that feeds aircraft navigation information into the ADS-B system. Finally, the thesis maps the ADS-B data availability and the quantified system performance to the envisioned airborne surveillance application's requirements. The mapping exercise indicates that, the quantified ADS-B accuracy is sufficient for all applications while ADS-B integrity is insufficient to support the most stringent application: Airborne Separation (ASEP). In addition, some of the required performance parameters are unavailable from aircraft certified to DO-260 standard. Therefore, all aircraft must be certified to DO-260B standard to support the applications and perform continuous monitoring, to ensure consistency in the system performance of each aircraft.
Supervisor: Ochieng, Washington Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral