Roke Partners with Technology Strategy Board for UK's Future Air Traffic Management Strategy

   Roke Partners with Technology Strategy Board for UK's Future Air Traffic
                             Management Strategy

  PR Newswire

  ROMSEY, England, February 14, 2013

ROMSEY, England, February 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Roke Manor Research Ltd (Roke), a Chemring Group company, Thales and NATS,
have been selected to support the Technology Strategy Board's Highly
Innovative Technology Enablers for Aerospace (HITEA) programme to help build
the UK's future air traffic management (ATM) surveillance strategy.

The 24-month programme is a demonstration of the suitability of a new type of
air traffic control radar, Multi-Static Primary Surveillance Radar (MSPSR), as
a replacement for traditional, costly Primary Surveillance Radars (PSR).
Rather than relying on a dedicated transmitter to locate aircraft, MSPSR uses
existing digital broadcast signals, thus freeing up valuable spectrum for
other uses, such as current and future mobile phone technology.

Another key advantage of MSPSR is its resilience to interference caused by
wind turbines, which can lead to an improvement of air traffic surveillance
performance in the areas where large wind turbines are being deployed.
Introduction of MSPSR thus offers the promise of simultaneously contributing
to the safety of air travel whilst helping the government to achieve its
renewable energy strategy goals.

The superior surveillance performance of MSPSR is based on highly advanced
multilateration technology, where the location of aircraft is derived from the
time of arrival of the broadcast signal reflected from the aircraft and
measured at multiple receiver locations on the ground.

Roke has proven expertise in multilateration surveillance technologies -
Vigilance ^[ ^TM ^] , its Wide Area Multilateration secondary surveillance
system is already in operation across Europe. Roke will use this experience to
support NATS in the development of the MSPSR system requirements, assessment
of the system design and in an independent verification and validation of the
MSPSR system performance.

Simon Atkinson, Business Sector Manager, Air Transport for Roke, said: "Many
air navigation service providers are hoping that MSPSR is a cost-saving
alternative to replace the expensive primary surveillance radar systems
currently being used. Furthermore, as there is an increasing demand for the
use of the electromagnetic spectrum, the current frequency allocations for PSR
are coming under threat. MSPSR could be the answer to freeing up valuable
spectrum and herald the first major revolution in radar since its use by the
British during World War Two.

The Technology Strategy's Board's decision to appoint Roke, teamed with Thales
and NATS, is testament to our continual commitment to develop the most
innovative technologies while delivering excellent customer service. Our two
partners share this ethos and we look forward to working with them to deliver
an effective new approach to the way that air traffic is managed in the

About the Technology Strategy Board

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to
create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in

About Roke

Roke, based in Romsey, Hampshire, is the principal electronics research and
development centre of Chemring Group Plc. Founded in 1956, Roke is one of the
UK's leading suppliers of innovative solutions and contract R&D, pioneering
developments in electronic sensors, networks and communications technology. It
employs 450 staff and has over 430 patents to its name.

Contact: For further information please contact: Russell Hardy, Roke,
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