ENSCO, a leading provider of aviation weather, has teamed up with other weather providers to solve the aviation weather challenge of the decade – fully integrating aviation weather into NextGen, the next generation of aviation’s air traffic control system. This latest challenge isn’t anything new for ENSCO. Since 1991, ENSCO has staffed and managed NASA’s Applied Meteorology Unit (AMU). The award-winning AMU has been a critical factor in rapidly transitioning technologies to weather operations in support of the space shuttle, National Space Program, and National Weather Service. NASA management has rated these operations as essential to continued space operations. ENSCO and its teammates are building solutions and working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has targeted 2025 as the completion date for transforming the nation’s Air Traffic Control (ATC) system. By this date, the FAA plans to have completely overhauled the underlying structure of the ATC and to have migrated to a satellite-based navigation system. However, the real key to the success will be the ability to better manage weather impact on the aviation system.
As a first step to meeting this goal, the FAA has created a test facility in Daytona Beach, Fla. At this test facility, ENSCO has been participating with several other companies to integrate aviation weather information into the traffic management system. ENSCO recently successfully led the effort to integrate current and forecasted weather information into the traffic management system. The facility held a demonstration of this new development on November 18 and according to Embry-Riddle’s vice president (a partner at the test facility), “This demonstration [shows] the FAA that this particular integration is feasible, practical and beneficial.”
Robert Gillen, ENSCO’s Director of Engineering, was recently interviewed by Aviation International News and he recounted this test demonstration, “Progress has been made at the test facility – this demonstration accurately combined current weather data into the traffic management system and instantly the value of having these two data sets overlay each other was visible.” Mr. Gillen further added, “The next logical step is to incorporate turbulence and convection into these automation system, so that traffic managers can preplan around forecast weather and/or turbulence conditions.”
Incorporating weather and the other relevant factors will be critical to creating a new ATC system and on the weather front, ENSCO is leading this effort.
To read the complete article with Robert Gillen’s interview, please click this article (PDF): Weather service in the NextGen Era
ENSCO, Inc. provides engineering, science and advanced technology solutions for the defense, security, transportation, and aerospace industries. A privately held company with a history of innovation spanning four decades, ENSCO’s revenue exceeds $100 million annually. ENSCO is headquartered near Washington, D.C., with field offices throughout the United States and representatives across the globe. More About ENSCO