A Simulation of Signal Collisions over the North Atlantic for a Spaceborne ADS-B Receiver Using Aloha Protocol


Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) is an air traffic surveillance system in which aircraft broadcast GPS position, velocity and status on 1090 MHz at random intervals between 0.4 and 0.6 seconds. ADS-B networks for air traffic monitoring have been implemented worldwide, but ground stations cannot be installed in oceanic regions, leaving these areas uncovered. A solution for tracking aircraft over the ocean is through the monitoring of ADS-B signals by using spaceborne receivers. The Royal Military College of Canada has developed an ADS-B receiver that is scheduled to fly as a technology demonstrator on the Canadian Advanced Nanospace eXperiment-7 (CanX-7) nanosatellite. The payload will collect ADS-B data over the North Atlantic that will be compared to truth data provided by air traffic services. A potential issue for the CanX-7 payload is signal collisions. The extended footprint of the satellite coverage means that a large number of aircraft may be in view at any one time, leading to ADS-B messages that arrive simultaneously at the receiver not being decoded. A simulation of CanX-7 passage over the operations area was carried out to calculate the probability of signal collisions. Using the Aloha Protocol, it was determined that the loss of information as a result of signal collisions is well within the standards of ground based radars used by air traffic system agencies.

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Van Der Pryt, R. and Vincent, R. (2015) A Simulation of Signal Collisions over the North Atlantic for a Spaceborne ADS-B Receiver Using Aloha Protocol. Positioning, 6, 23-31. doi: 10.4236/pos.2015.63003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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