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The CRISTAL MED Project (Co-operative Validation of Surveillance Techniques and Applications of Package 1 in the Mediterranean region) has been conducted in the CASCADE Program of EUROCONTROL, involving various service providers in Southern Europe.

The purpose was to assess the operational benefits that could accrue from the use of the ADS-B 1090 ES (Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast 1090 MHz Extended Squitter) in selected operational scenarios, and to verify the technical and economic feasibility of developing an ADS-B 1090ES infrastructure.

ADS-B is a surveillance technique based on aircraft transmission of certain flight information such as position, altitude, speed and flight progress. The data transmitted, also detected by the avionics systems of other aircraft in the scenario, are received and processed on the ground by the surveillance systems (ADS-B systems).

The main aim of the project was the validation of the following ADS-B applications:

  • ATC surveillance in airspace with radar coverage (ADS-B RAD);
  • ATC surveillance in airspace without radar coverage (ADS-B NRA);
  • Airport Area Surveillance (ADS-B APT).

The CRISTAL MED infrastructure was require to comply with existing operational and technical standards, in order to obtain certification and be used on the operational level. The European choice was in favour of the initial "ADS-B 1090 ES" technology in accordance with the ICAO ANC-11 decisions. This approach would allow for the use of the same S Mode and TCAS transponders already installed on board aircraft, thus reducing the cost of investments by the airlines.

CRISTAL MED Phase 1 (2005-2006)

CRISTAL MED Phase 2 (January 2007 - February 2009)

Today, ADS-B, both in Europe (SESAR Program) and the USA (NextGen Program), is acknowledged to the technology for surveillance systems capable of ensuring the performance levels requested by future generation ATM systems.

Given the positive results obtained with CRISTAL MED validation activities and other initiatives for the Single European Airspace in which ENAV has leadership (BLUE MED), the Company has recently started up a long-term investment plan to ensure ADS-B coverage for all of Italy's airspace.

The implementation plan involves the installation and integration of ADS-B facilities that also include the improvement of central processing systems and the presentation of surveillance data on the operating consoles of traffic controllers.

The plan has the following objectives:

  • Providing further backup layer for surveillance on the route scenario, with the contribution of an alternative and better performing technology;
  • Providing surveillance data to assist controllers in airports with low traffic levels, where the radar service would not be cost-effective;
  • Utilising a joint surveillance technology, with high performance and low cost, for the setting up of a FAB (Functional Airspace Block) in the south-eastern Mediterranean (BLUE MED).

Download the publication "Projects & Activities" containing CRISTAL MED project (.pdf)

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