Multilateration has introduced a completely new way of thinking about meeting the needs of ANSPs to upgrade, expand or create new areas of airspace surveillance. In the past, the requirement to cover a given airspace could only be considered in terms of traditional SSR performance, where the system’s limitations often called for compromises in coverage, the need for additional “gap filling” installations or limitations on where aircraft could safely maneuver. With multilateration, those limitations no longer apply.
Multilateration’s unique ability to be precisely “tailored” to completely meet the coverage requirements for a wide range of applications has resulted in the elimination of surveillance gaps. This has been coupled with equivalent — and often superior — performance over SSR throughout the covered area, at a significantly lower cost.
Furthermore, future surveillance changes that are required to accommodate new approach, departure or over flight procedures can be readily and inexpensively achieved by the addition of the system’s small, unmanned and easily installed sensor stations.
This extreme flexibility allows a totally different planning approach to traditional, radar-based airspace reconfiguration. In a radar environment, the controlling factor in airspace changes has always been to restrict any desired changes to those that can either remain with the fixed coverage of the established SSR, or those that will require major investment in relocating the radar or acquiring additional units.
Multilateration can therefore be seen as not only a tool to increase airspace utilization and operational efficiency, but as also offering significant economic benefits and flexibility.
Any multilateration ground station can be used for multiple applications. This allows for greater cost savings and expansion capabilities.