The En Route Automation Modernization (ERAM) system, a key piece of the infrastructure for the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), is now in place, providing technology that will increase capacity, improve efficiency and enhance the cornerstone of the FAA’s mission—air safety.
Lockheed Martin worked closely with the FAA to develop and deliver the ERAM system nationwide, replacing the 40-year-old computer system used to control aircraft flying at high altitudes.
“Lockheed Martin has supported the FAA for more than 50 years, and we are proud of the collaborative effort in delivering ERAM to all 20 Air Route Traffic Control Centers in the contiguous U.S.,” said Stephanie C. Hill, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems & Global Solutions Civil line of business. “The ERAM platform provides the foundation for NextGen capabilities, which will benefit passengers, air traffic controllers, airlines and other users of the aviation system.”
Among key ERAM technologies is an end-to-end, 4-D trajectory model that predicts the path of each aircraft in time and space. It allows flight operations to supplement today’s ground-based radars with more accurate satellite-based automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) technology, which allows for increased capacity and safety for aircraft that were previously not covered by radar surveillance. In short, aircraft can fly more efficient routes, helping airlines achieve business goals and travelers reach their destinations sooner.
Other key advancements include:
• Greater capacity. Controllers at each Air Route Traffic Control Center will be able to track an additional 800 aircraft, for a total of 1,900 aircraft at one time.
• Wider field of vision. Automated tools help controllers detect potential conflicts and resolve them optimally. With ERAM, controllers see a bigger picture, beyond their area of responsibility, and choose the safest, most fuel-efficient outcomes.
• Introduction of NextGen technologies. ERAM technology enables NextGen initiatives, which yield airline efficiencies and support re-routes in response to weather conditions or other airspace constraints. Ground-Based Interval Management-Spacing uses ADS-B to precisely space aircraft entering airspace surrounding a major airport, streamlining traffic flow and decreasing delays. Pre-departure reroute and airborne reroute capabilities automatically transmit re-routing information from the traffic manager to the pilot and dispatcher, simplifying the process and giving passengers smoother flights.