Orolia recently organized a series of flight tests to demonstrate and qualify capabilities of the GADSS global aircraft safety program’s end-to-end Emergency Locator Transmitter Distress Tracking (ELT-DT) system, including Orolia’s Ultima-DT solution.
With these successful flight test results and the exceptional performance of its Ultima-DT system, Orolia is now the world’s first industry supplier to offer a compliant solution to GADSS Autonomous Distress Tracking requirements, as required for new-built commercial aircraft after January 2023.
This major European initiative has been led by Orolia with the support of French and Spanish government partners such as France’s CNES, the Spanish and French Air Traffic Service Units, the Spanish and French Mission Control Centers, the Spanish and French Rescue Coordination Centers, as well as two major Airline Operation Centers from Air France and Iberia. This was the first opportunity to evaluate a system-level implementation of the new Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS), particularly its Autonomous Distress Tracking component (ADT).
This evaluation included Orolia’s Ultima-DT, the latest generation of Emergency Location Transmitter (ELT) with Distress Tracking capability. The flight tests were conducted in a business jet, flying along a trajectory across Spain and France. The robustness of the alert and tracking transmission, which involves the Cospas Sarsat MEOSAR satellite constellation, as well as the performance of ground reception and distribution, were confirmed- even with extreme aircraft attitudes.
These tests also provided the opportunity to review some organizational and process aspects, in particular the insertion of the Distress Tracking process into the general aircraft alert management process, including communication between Air Traffic Service Units, Rescue Coordination Centers, and Airlines Operations Centers in France and Spain.
Though test data still need to be applied to ongoing program development, preliminary results showed excellent system performance with 100 percent scores for the transmission/detection rate, as well as geo location functionality. All stakeholders were able to receive distress information in a timely manner.
“This successful evaluation enabled all participants to collect large quantities of critical data in an accurate operational context. The maturity level of the GADSS distress tracking system, including Orolia’s Ultima-DT, has now been verified with the same level of reliable performance both in flight and on the ground,” said Christian Belleux, aviation product line director at Orolia. Ultima-DT was developed through the Helios initiative, with funding support from the European GNSS Agency under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, grant agreement No 687554.
Orolia is the world leader in Resilient Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) solutions that improve the reliability, performance and safety of critical, remote or high-risk operations, even in GPS denied environments. With a presence in more than 100 countries, Orolia provides virtually fail-safe GPS/GNSS and PNT solutions for military and commercial applications worldwide.
About the GSA
The European GNSS Agency (GSA), is the European Union Agency in charge of managing operations, security and service provision for Europe’s Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), Galileo and EGNOS. By working with stakeholders, industry, service providers and user communities, the GSA ensures the highest return on European GNSS investment, multiplying the benefits of space applications for European citizens and business, boosting innovation and competitiveness, and securing sustainable economic growth. The GSA is also funding projects under the European Commission R&D H2020 programme. The GSA will soon become the European Union Space Programme Agency (EUSPA).