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Aircraft Search Automation with VHF Enabler (SAVE)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244379D
Publication Date: 2015-Dec-08
Document File: 6 page(s) / 137K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Aloke Roy: INVENTOR

Abstract

Information about the latest location coordinates of an aircraft is critical for Search and Rescue Operations (SAR) especially for the aircrafts which cover oceanic paths and remote areas where traditional surveillance systems are unavailable. Satellite-based position reporting solutions are less attractive due to the high installment and maintenance costs and long installation time. This paper describes a Search Automation method (SAVE) which uses the existing Very High Frequency (VHF) radios and VHF Data Link (VDL) to form an air-to-air network between the SAVE enabled aircrafts for broadcasting their location coordinates; The Aircraft Neighborhood Table which contains the location coordinates of all SAVE enabled aircrafts, saved into a ground-based data aggregator which is useful during Search and Rescue operations.

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Aircraft Search Automation with VHF Enabler (SAVE)

Aloke Roy

ABSTRACT

Information about the latest location coordinates of an aircraft is critical for Search and Rescue Operations (SAR) especially for the aircrafts which cover oceanic paths and remote areas where traditional surveillance systems are unavailable. Satellite- based position reporting solutions are less attractive due to the high installment and maintenance costs and long installation time. This paper describes a Search Automation method (SAVE) which uses the existing Very High Frequency (VHF) radios and VHF Data Link (VDL) to form an air-to-air network between the SAVE enabled aircrafts for broadcasting their location coordinates; The Aircraft Neighborhood Table which contains the location coordinates of all SAVE enabled aircrafts, saved into a ground-based data aggregator which is useful during Search and Rescue operations.


1. INTRODUCTION

Aircraft accidents in recent past such as AF447 near Brazil and the Malaysian airlines MH370 have emphasized the focus on Global Flight Tracking for long haul routes covering oceanic paths, polar regions and remote areas, which lack traditional surveillance systems. Near real-time location coordinates from the aircraft can be used to produce information, such as aircraft tracking and deviations from the planned path. This information will help with quick and accurate identification of the accident site, making the search and rescue operations effective and fast.

The majority of the solutions proposed to date makes use of the satellite-based position reporting systems, wherein the aircraft position and trajectory intent are reported at regular intervals. The drawbacks of these solutions are high installment and maintenance costs owing to satellite usage and messaging charges, which motivate the aircraft operators to send the position information less frequently.

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Due to the longer installation time for installing satellite systems, aircrafts are out of service for a considerable period of time making these solutions less attractive for aircraft operators. Hence, a reliable and accurate aircraft tracking solution is required which can be installed with minimal installation time, costs and changes to the existing systems.


2. PROPOSED SOLUTION OF THE PROBLEM

A reliable and cost-effective solution to the problem described in the previous section, leverages the existing VHF (Very High Frequency) Radio systems and VHF Data Link (VDL) on aircrafts. The proposed system hereby referred to as SAVE (Search Automation with VHF Enabler) operates by establishing an ad-hoc, air-to-air broadcast communication network between the VHF enabled aircrafts for reporting the location coordinates.

VHF Data Link (VDL) is the communication link utilized by majority of the aircrafts today for sending information between them and ground stations and to other aircrafts. Aviation community uses the frequency band 117.975-137 MHz which has been as...