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Sensing movement

Global surveillance approach

Sensing movement

Safe skies means safe transit through a number of given airspaces. It means that, at any given point in time, Air Traffic Control Operators (ATCO) must be aware of aircraft’s position in their airspace to deliver efficient Air Traffic Management (ATM). Surveillance solutions are the “Eyes” of the ATCO. It means relying on a wide network of ground sensors enabling such coordination so that safety and punctuality can go hand in hand.

From radar to non-radar surveillance infrastructures, Thales offers its customers a wide range of accurate and innovative technologies to provide a tailored global surveillance solution.


Safety first

Air safety is critical at all times. Whether an airspace is particularly busy, or whether it is going through a calmer period, ATCOs must maintain constant awareness of aircraft’s positions within their airspace. The slightest image gap could have significant consequences for air passenger safety.

It is only through a network of connected reliable ground stations, in constant communication with aircraft that ATCOs can successfully carry out their mission.

This network of sensors can include radar surveillance, both primary and secondary, which constantly detect, localise and interrogate the skies to provide ATCOs critical aircraft position data throughout all phases of operations. It can also include non-radar surveillance, ground ADS-B sensors which detect, localise aircraft and provide additional information that are received, process and send to the ATC system which then displays the aircraft on controllers’ screens.

See the Sky 

Building on years of experience successfully delivering a wide range of ground sensor technologies to both civil and military clients, Thales has developed both radar and non-radar surveillance solutions to address all customer needs and cover, according to their environment, a global surveillance for a safe and accurate airport, approach and en-route surveillance.

Thales radar solutions include: 

  • Primary radars - the STAR NG and the TRAC NG provide ATCOs with real-time, accurate en route data. Both have been developed to ensure target detection of all sizes, windfarm mitigation and great operational range. 
  • Secondary radars - the RSM NG provides situational awareness from push back to parking, whether on the tarmac or in the skies. A fully digital radar, it allows controllers to interrogate the skies at all times and in a complete confidence.

Thales non-radar solutions include: 

  • ADS-B - a proven ground-based Automatic Dependant Surveillance Broadcast system, it provides a cooperative surveillance system for all phases of aircraft operation.
  • MLAT & WAM -  a proven transponder Multilateration for high-performance surveillance. Multilateration is used for ground movement surveillance, airport approaches (WAM for TMA), gap filler (a radar used to supplement the coverage of the principal radar in areas where coverage is inadequate) and en-route surveillance (Wide Area Multilateration [WAM]).

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