Air travel: FAA to update air traffic control infrastructure

As part of a major overhaul of its air traffic control support infrastructure, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration contracted with EDSA Micro to provide a power analytics electrical power infrastructure protection system for mission-critical facilities nationwide.


San Diego, CA — In the wake of increased flight delays caused by glitches in the nation’s air traffic control (ATC) infrastructure, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has embarked on a major overhaul of its computers, radar systems, networks, and support systems. As part of that overhaul, the FAA selected EDSA Micro Corp. to provide a power analytics electrical power infrastructure protection system for mission-critical facilities nationwide.

"The financial consequences of an outage somewhere in the FAA network– not to mention the disruption of business and personal travel – can be severe,” said Mark A. Ascolese, EDSA chairman and CEO. "The direct and indirect financial toll can quickly reach millions of dollars in higher fuel expenses, lost landing revenue, increased employee costs, and spoiled perishable cargo…not to mention the disruption of airline schedules, passengers' missed business meetings, canceled vacations, and so on.” An article in the Thursday (Aug. 28) Wall Street Journal reported aviation officials, lawmakers, ATC controllers, and other critics as saying the agency needs to pay greater attention to its existing infrastructure problems. For example, the National Airspace Data Interchange Network (Nadin), shut down Tuesday, causing over 600 delays, mostly in Atlanta, Chicago and the Northeast. The WSJ report said other key pieces of FAA networks have failed, such as a new $2.4 billion telecommunications system, and two radar outages since September in the Memphis, TN, area.
The EDSA contract is part of a five-year "Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity” (IDIQ) award, under which EDSA will deploy its Paladin Live platform at major air traffic control facilities across the United States. The company expects the contract’s total value to ultimately
Initially, EDSA says, the power-protection system will be deployed in two types of critical National Air Space (NAS) facilities: Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCCs) and Terminal Radar Approach Control facilities (TRACONs). While individual control towers are responsible for air traffic arriving and departing from airports, ARTCCs and TRACONs are responsible for traffic between airports in a geographical area. Each facility can service as many as 60 airports and manage over 500,000 square miles of airspace.
"Taken by themselves, FAA facilities are comparable to some of the most demanding mission-critical data centers in the world,” Ascolese said. "But when you take a data center and add air traffic displays, communications, and weather-tracking equipment, you end up with something far more complex than you'll usually find at a server farm. We're eager to show the FAA how dramatically we can help them improve the resilience of their facilities.”
C.G. Masi , senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk
Register here and scroll down to select your choice of automation eNewsletters free.

No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Sister act: Building on their father's legacy, a new generation moves Bales Metal Surface Solutions forward; Meet the 2015 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Pipeline vulnerabilities? Securing hydrocarbon transit; Predictive analytics hit the mainstream; Dirty pipelines decrease flow, production—pig your line; Ensuring pipeline physical and cyber security
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Building high availability into industrial computers; Of key metrics and myth busting; The truth about five common VFD myths

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.