ARTAS (ATM suRveillance Tracker And Server) is a system designed by Eurocontrol in order to help in Aerial surveillance and Air traffic control. It can establish an accurate Air Situation Picture of all traffic over a well-defined geographical area (e.g. ECAC), and to distribute the relevant surveillance information to a community of user systems.
A User of ARTAS in a general sense is defined in this context as any ATC subsystem having a requirement to receive at defined instants the best and most up-to-date estimate of all or selected aircraft state vector elements for all air traffic of interest to this User, e.g.:
- Operator Display System,
- Flight Data Processing System,
- ATC Tools,
- Flow-Control Management System,
- Sequencing and Metering system,
- Remote TMA’s,
- Military Units, etc.
ARTAS is a distributed system composed of a number of identical subsystems co-operating together. Each subsystem, called an ARTAS Unit, will process all radar data reports to form a best estimate of the current Air Traffic situation within a given Domain of Interest.
Adjacent ARTAS Units will co-ordinate their tracks to build a unique, coherent and continuous Air Situation Picture over the complete area.
ARTAS unit groups
Four groups of main functions are implemented in an ARTAS Unit:
- The TRACKER processes the radar input data and maintain the latest air situation represented in the Track Data Base.
- The SERVER carries out the Track and Sensor Information Services, i.e. the management of all requests from Users and the transmission of the relevant sets of track/sensor data to these Users, and the so-called inter-ARTAS co-operation functions
- The ROUTER BRIDGE handles the external interfaces to the Normal Users, the Broadcast Users, the Adjacent ARTAS Units and the surveillance sensors. It also implements the Radar Input Processing function.
- The SYSTEM MANAGER carries out the functions related to the supervision and management of the ARTAS Unit.
ARTAS is developed as a regional system concept consisting of individual surveillance data processing and distribution units, which together will operate as one entity. Each subsystem, called an ARTAS Unit, processes all surveillance data reports – i.e. radar reports, including Mode S, ADS reports, and Multilateration reports to form a best estimate of the current Air Traffic situation within a given Domain of Interest.
The system operates on the basis of defined blocks of airspace known as “domains”. Each ATM Surveillance Unit (ASU) tracks all traffic in its own defined airspace, known as a “Domain of Operation”. The domains of operation of adjacent units overlap. In the areas of overlap, inter-unit track coordination functions take place, ensuring system tracking continuity. In this manner, adjacent ARTAS Units can co-ordinate their tracks to build a unique, coherent and continuous Air Situation Picture over the complete area.
The seamless integration of all Units permits the application of 5NM separation minima throughout the total covered area, also at transfers of traffic from one ATC unit to the next one. 3NM separation can be done following an in-depth operational evaluation of the ARTAS behaviour in the local environments.
Through a User/Server type of interface, the systems connected to ARTAS (e.g. local display system, remote users like Terminal Areas without own Radar Data Processing System, Flow Management Units, etc.) may, in a very flexible way, define exactly the modalities of the track services to be provided, e.g., the area (domain) for which it wishes to receive a specific sub-set of processed surveillance data. The flexibility of the system is such that the Domain of the user is not limited to the Domain of Operation of the Unit in which the user is situated, but may encompass airspace in the Domains of Operation of several adjacent ATM Surveillance Units.
In addition to the so-called Track State vector elements (position, speed, Mode-of-Flight, etc.), maintained by the Tracker, the served tracks comprise other information of interest for the user systems, including Flight Plan related information, provided by the Flight Data Processing Systems users of ARTAS (Callsign, departure/arrival airports, type of aircraft, etc.).