The two companies are focused on helping to accelerate the implementation of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Next-Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) in the U.S., as well as similar programs in the European Union. NextGen is a wide-ranging transformation of the entire U.S. air transport system to meet future demands and avoid gridlock in the sky and at airports.
The Harris and Sunhillo team is leveraging flexible, service-oriented architecture (SOA) technology to create a secure, network-centric information exchange compliant with System-Wide Information Management (SWIM) standards. SWIM, an advanced technology designed to more easily share air traffic management system information, is a central component of NextGen.
The collaborative results are being demonstrated during the ATC Global Conference, March 9–11, in Amsterdam. The demonstration combines the network-centric, SOA-based information-sharing platform developed by Harris, a capability referred to as the DEX, with a modular-filtering and protocol-conversion platform developed by Sunhillo, called RICI. This integrated solution makes it possible to quickly and securely exchange surveillance sensor data within and beyond the air transport enterprise. All types of data are exchanged on the network, including information about weather and airport surface data.
"We are excited about combining our surveillance data distribution technology with Harris communications and SOA infrastructure," said David Whitman, President, Sunhillo. "Collectively, our proven capabilities enable a seamless transition to surveillance modernization information exchange. To this end, all of the pieces are now in place to support international standardized surveillance capabilities required for next-generation ATC systems."
The Harris and Sunhillo team is delivering a building-block architecture that will facilitate the deployment of NextGen. Harris brings its expertise in the development and application of SOA networks, such as the all-digital FAA Telecommunications Infrastructure network. Sunhillo is known for its advanced capabilities in developing communications interfaces for the National Airspace System (NAS).
"This team is highly qualified to support the rollout development of information exchange solutions for U.S. and European air transport systems," said John O'Sullivan, Vice President, Harris Mission Critical Networks.
Harris is the prime contractor and system architect for the FAA Telecommunications Infrastructure program. Other FAA programs developed by Harris include:
- Weather and Radar Processor, a weather system serving the en route air traffic control environment
- OASIS, which provides integrated weather briefing and flight planning capabilities for preflight weather briefings and in-flight updates
- Voice Switching and Control System, which provides the critical air-to-ground communications links between en route aircraft and air traffic controllers throughout the continental U.S.
- Satellite-based Alaskan NAS Interfacility Communications System
The Harris Mission Critical Networks business provides highly reliable network infrastructures for government agencies.
Headquartered near Philadelphia International Airport, with satellite offices at the FAA William J. Hughes Technical Center (WJHTC) in Atlantic City, NJ, Sunhillo Corp. specializes in surveillance data distribution and interoperability for network-centric sensors and air traffic management solutions.
Harris Corp. is an international communications and information technology company, serving government and commercial markets worldwide. Headquartered in Melbourne, FL, the company has approximately $5 billion of annual revenue and more than 15,000 employees, including nearly 7000 engineers and scientists. Harris is dedicated to developing best-in-class assured communications products, systems, and services.