BULATSA modernizes its automated air traffic management system | BULATSA

BULATSA modernizes its automated air traffic management system

BULATSA finalized the modernization of its automated Air Traffic Management (ATM) system SАТСАS to version 3.0 Data Link. The system performs continuous monitoring of the flight trajectory, providing warnings in case of deviations from the flight plan and automated coordination of each flight conditions between the different working positions. In accordance with the EUROCONTROL’s concept for flexible use of airspace, SATCAS maintains automated civil – military coordination in real time. The system provides automatic conflict forecast in intermediate term (within 20 minutes in advance) and issues warnings within 2 min. in the potential occurrence of dangerously close distances between aircraft, an aircraft and the ground or an aircraft and dangerous and restricted flight areas.

The modernization allowed the implementation of new functionalities, system performance improvement and the raise of the air traffic services safety level. The automated ATM system is designed to collect, process and display surveillance and flight information, and assist the air traffic controllers and other operational personnel via automated means. The modernization follows the requirements of the National Programme for Implementation of the Single European Sky and the EC Regulations.    

The system performs the following basic functions:

  • Surveillance Data Processing System – SDPS;
  • Flight Data Processing System – FDPS;
  • Operational Display System – ODS;
  • Technical Monitoring and Control System – TMCS;
  • Recording and Playback System – RPB;
  • Time Reference System – TRS;
  • Safety Nets – SN;
  • Provision of entry-exit connectivity with remote centers – GTW.
  • The automated ATM system provides the following working positions:
  • 12 sectors for en-route traffic control;
  • 2 sectors for traffic control of the terminal area of Sofia airport;
  • 2 working positions for military air traffic controllers;
  • 2 working positions for the airport control tower at Sofia airport;
  • 1 sector for traffic control of the terminal area of Varna airport;
  • 1 sector for traffic control of the terminal area of Burgas airport;
  • 2 working positions for the airport control tower at Varna airport;
  • 2 working positions for the airport control tower at Burgas airport;
  • 3 working position for servicing low-flying aviation (class G airspace, according to the ICAO classification);
  • Working positions for the airspace planning and distribution center, for management of the air traffic flows, air traffic controllers – a shift manager and an assistant air traffic controller;
  • Working positions for provision of 24-hour monitoring of both the whole system by the engineer on duty and the subsystems and remote centers by the respective engineers on duty.

The basic principle that was observed in the process of design and construction of the system was the double back up of all servers, communication lines and electric power supply.

The SATCAS system uses only electronic stripmarks. The SATCAS functionalities allow automated exchange of flight information with the neighboring ATS centers and displaying the dangerous meteorological occurrences. The system performs simultaneous processing of information gathered from 15 radar stations and it has the capacity to cover area with dimensions 1024 х 1024 nautical miles.

An important functionality of the SATCAS system is the inclusion of remote centers – the approach control centers and the airport control towers at Varna and Burgas airports. Characteristic for this system architecture is that the main processing of the multi-radar information, of the system flight data and the supplementary information, is centralized in Sofia ATC Centre and the remote centres are in essence clients of the centralized system.