NATS TV tracking trial

Standard TV signals could one day be used for tracking aircraft, following a proof of concept trial led by the UK air traffic control company, NATS, in conjunction with Thales ATM UK and Roke Manor. This was reported by NATS in mid-June.

For two years NATS, working with Thales and Roke Manor, has been testing whether the same signals delivered to televisions across the country could simultaneously be used to detect and direct aircraft.

The trial, part funded by Innovate UK, was carried out primarily over London with a Thales concept demonstrator using signals from the Crystal Palace transmitter. The results of the trials were then validated by Roke Manor. Up to thirty aircraft were tracked at any one time at altitudes of up to 10,000 feet, although more would have been possible had additional equipment been used.