Case Studies

Data Distribution System for Air Traffic Control

Our challenge: To design, manufacture, install and support a replacement system which addressed obsolescence issues while retaining the same functions as the old system.

The Royal Navy operates two Naval Air Stations at Yeovilton and Culdrose and a radar facility at Plymouth Naval Base to control flights. Despite busy runway schedules, the organisation of flight information was, until the end of 2002, in the hands of an outdated, obsolete, unreliable data distribution system. The system was required to distribute live and static data to Air Traffic Control operators at their positions, eliminating the time wasting and errors caused by misreading handwritten data.

The new system needed to use COTS hardware, have a recognisable user interface to reduce operator training and to run on software that was free from license charges while providing network security and ease of modification. Our solution had to be backed up by a full, comprehensive safety case and had to conform to CAP 670, Air Traffic Control Management Regulations.

STS Defence’s solution was to create a bespoke software application on COTS hardware, running on the Linux operating system using PHP programming and a Firefox browser.  The systems at each of the bases were networked together using X.21 routers and javelin modems via a BT carrier.

The EDDS project was successfully delivered in 2006, since when STS Defence have provided Contractor Logistic Support for the system which is expected to remain to in-service for many years and will be incorporated into Project Marshall.

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