ROCKVILLE, Md., 29 Oct. 2009Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] is increasing the performance, usability and data storage capacity of the system used by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for oceanic air traffic control. The technology refresh of the Ocean21 system updates the Advanced Technologies and Oceanic Procedures (ATOP) program at air route traffic control centers in Anchorage, Alaska, Islip, N.Y., and Oakland, Calif.
ATOP is the FAA's modernization program for oceanic air traffic control. It uses a satellite-based system that integrates flight and radar data processing , advanced digital surveillance and communication capabilities, and enhanced controller tool sets for all three oceanic air traffic control centers, combining common procedures, training, maintenance, and support.
ATOP significantly reduces the intensive manual process that has limited controllers' flexibility to safely handle airline requests for more efficient tracks over long oceanic routes. It also reduces the workload on controllers through the use of electronic flight strips, instead of the labor-intensive paper strip method used for decades to track transoceanic aircraft. A technical refresh of the system, based on the date the first site achieved initial operational capability (IOC), is a five-year requirement of the contract.
"Refreshing the ATOP system was an incredibly challenging task because all major system components, such as processors, displays, network switches and storage devices, had to be replaced without stopping the 24/7 operations at each air traffic control center," says Sandra Samuel, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Transportation Solutions business. "I am extremely proud of this team's achievement. They completed their work consistently ahead of schedule, and without any service interruption to the user community. The project planning was detailed and precision-oriented, and the execution flawless."
The refresh project's installation, testing, demonstration, and certification cycle was completed at the air route traffic control center in Oakland first on 24 June, followed by the New York center 21 Aug., and the Anchorage center 8 Oct. The William J. Hughes Technical Center maintenance lab's refresh work was completed this past February.