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Aero Data Link Radar System Header
The ADRS is the central communication process enabling information sharing between MACS stations and other "external" simulation components. Within a simulation the ADRS serves as a limited Host Computer System (HCS) emulator. It maintains and amends flight plans, as well as manages information to be shared between clients, such as scheduling and metering information and controller inputs (e.g., handoff information). The ADRS also performs a range of surveillance functions, including simulated radar coverage. A radar simulation module inside the ADRS simulates radar sweeps, radar noise, cone of silence areas, and alpha/beta tracking. Data link communication is also simulated through the ADRS. Data link messages, of several formats ranging from custom alternatives to ARINC702 standards, are received from simulated aircraft or ground facilities and converted, delayed, and forwarded as required. Aircraft state and trajectory information are maintained by the ADRS as well. Information from MACS and other target generators is received by the ADRS and, in conjunction with its own data, is harmonized, maintained, and distributed to all connected clients.

The ADRS is implemented in the C programming language and can be compiled and executed on Solaris, Macintosh and Windows platforms. New components can either plug into the ADRS if implemented with one of the ADRS-provided communication protocols, or the ADRS code can be modified to meet the needs of the new component. For small simulations one ADRS process can handle all the necessary communications, while larger simulations can launch a network of ADRSs. Each ADRS can serve many additional ADRS clients, which themselves can serve additional clients. There is no limit to the number of servers and clients to be included in the simulation, because adding another ADRS-node can expand each node.

All ADRSs share all required information to allow clients to connect to any node and receive the same data quality and quantity. All processes communicate with the ADRS via TCP/IP socket communication and use custom protocols tailored to the individual process types. A single ADRS or a network of ADRSs can be compared to an internet for air traffic simulations. Simulation components can connect to the ADRS at any time before or during a simulation. Clients have complete control over what data they receive and how frequently they receive it. The data interfaces work on a subscribe/response basis and clients can receive all available data including precise aircraft positions and states, flight plans, four-dimensional trajectories, controller inputs, air traffic management information, simulated radar targets, aircraft guidance inputs, health status information. It can simulate ADS-B and CPDLC data link capabilities and convert data into formats that simulated aircraft and ground automation can understand.

Aero Data Link Radar Simulator Image Collage

Point of Contact: Joey Mercer, M.S., Human Systems Integration Division, NASA Ames Research Center
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Curator: Phil So
NASA Official: Joey Mercer
Last Updated: February 16, 2021