ADS-B ... where it's at?


I finally got around to reading an Inspector General's report on the FAA's implementation of ADS-B (sure, from 2007). A couple of things jump out at me:
  1. There will be two flavors of ADS-B. One, for "large jets" that appears to piggyback on the existing Mode S infrasturcture (1090-ES), and another for operators who get all-new equipment (UAT). It will be the ground stations' responsibility to ensure that the two systems talk to each other by re-broadcasting data on the other frequency.

    The two-frequency approach appears to have been done to lower the cost for operators who already have a Mode S data capability (used almost exclusively by Secondary Radar and TCAS II), and there are probably hopes to eventually have everyone using UAT.

  2. The FAA does not/will not own the ground infrastructure. ADS-B will be implemented as a service contract to ITT with oversight/performance control. This concerns me, but it might also be better than government-run IT.

    "FAA will allow ITT to sell “value-added services” to various aviation stakeholders. In essence, ITT will have a monopoly over providing ADS-B services for the next 18[16] years." This is sounds like pay-for XM weather, except from the government's operator.

  3. There is no mention of requirements for foreign operators in the US. There are no plans to decomission primary radars, so I wonder what kind of compatability will be available for non-ADS-B-equipped aircraft (what are countries who have already implemented ADS-B doing when we fly there)?

What's been going on since Oct. 2007? Their timeline says they were already planning a trial run at Fort Meyers, and a final rule and services in the Gulf of Mexico can be expected at the end of the year (Nov/Dec 2009).
Hah! Okay, OKAY.

I've been email corresponding with Europeans lately. They're all about the John McLaughlin-style of sentences. That, and triple or quadruple punctuation marks!(!!!!) :)