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Company Overview

GM MERC’s expertise lies in the ATC optimization and integration field, having been involved for the past 20 years with CAA’s and Airforces world-wide. As a Radar and Surveillance System Engineering Company we bring a strong added-value to Civil and Air-Forces ATC operators and managers.

 

GM MERC is a privately owned company independent from any radar manufacturer or surveillance means, giving us the capacity to provide unbiased support to CAA’s, Air Navigation Service Providers, and Air Forces. Our solutions are tailored to our customers needs and follow our standards for excellence. Our mission statement is to achieve a performance level which matches the increasing safety and operational constraints of our civil and military customers.

 

A range of our systems are in operation in the Royal Danish Airforce, all US Air Force (USAF) bases and US Navy (USN) bases worldwide, and in the majority of US FAA Arts II sites.

 


 

GM MERC System Concepts

The aviation sector whether civil or military is facing un-precedented challenges in terms of  increasing volume of traffic, end-of-cycle systems and evolving technologies in the surveillance field. As a direct consequence, many CAA's and Air-Forces are engaged in a system renewal and commissioning innew radars or surveillance systems.


These large modernization programs pertain to overall Surveillance Transition Plans as per ICAO recommendations, and have to seriously consider in a consistant manour some critical aspects in terms of safe integration and performance monitoring.


Legacy System Inter-operability

Within these Surveillance Transition Plans, the legacy systems, due to the gradual phased-down or decommissioning constraints, need to inter-operate and integrate in an efficient way with the new systems.


Unbiaised and Independant Performance Evalutaion of new fielded Radars

One of the many challenges while commissioning new radars is that due to the complexity of the technology, the operators and radar technitian have  limited input and control over the systems. Technical and contractual specifications are  complicated in some aspects but can also be quite vague in terms of performance requirement  and manufacturers responsibilities.


To mitigate this shortcoming, MIP and SEP were developed, ensuring operators better control of their surveillance overall systems. Indeed, it is capital for the users and operators to have a strict and realistic evaluation of the performance of the overall systems in order to check it against the contractual and technical specifications of the manufacturer, but also to assess the initial status and level of yield of the system for a continuous evaluation and maintenance over the life cycle of the radars. In turn, the newly commissioned and installed systems have to strictly match to the manufacturer  specifications, but also to ICAO standards and industry best practices. The capability to evaluate and assess the system’s performance evaluation will enable CAA's and Air-Forces to  make sure that the new systems match the specs, but also establish some performance benchmark which will serve as a base-line reference during the overall system life cycle for maintenance and performance guaranty.


GM MERC’s ATC solutions carefully address these specific concerns, bringing radar maintenance and ATC managers expertise to a proficient level,  enabling its technicians to deal on an equal footage with the manufacturers.


Radar Performance  during life-cycle and  Integrity Assessment

When an ATC Authority is  fielding new surveillance means, whether Radars, Multi-lateration or ADS, the performance specifications are mostly  defined by the manufacturer based on ICAO RCP values.  For a correct and efficient perfomance evaluation, CAA's and Air-Forces need the means and expertise to assess the real performance of the new systems, not only against vendors values and testing methods, but in an independent manor, based on  proven processes and analysis tools  and against international safety and performance values.


Commonly, the means to monitor evaluate and verify the performance of the radars according to ICAO requirements but also according to the manufacturers specs are not available to the users and operator. Therefore, it is left to the vendor to ensure and report the safe and efficient performance level of the radars.


Radar Maintenance during life-cycle

During the overall life-cycle of the newly installed systems, it is important to have the means to evaluate and monitor on a constant basis the performance evolution of the system which will enable system engineers within CAA's or Air-Forces to control and estimate in an informed manor the wear-and-tear of the radars. This avoids any un-noticed degradation of the system’s performance over a long period of time.


Quality Assurance and Safety Management System Best Practices

Within International Standards and Recommended Practices for Aviation Safety Management the Quality Assurance has to be defined, run and documented by independent means at the disposal of the Regulatory Authorities responsible for national safety and efficiency.


Due to the nature of the technology and radar operations, the controller or ATM supervisors will only be aware of any abnormality of the system if the track drifts or disappears from its display.  Unfortunately the system will not alarm or inform the users of any disparity or lack of performance, integrity, precision or continuity of the plots, which are the main surveillance information of the system. Indeed, the tracker will use the plot values coming directly from the radar, integrate them if many radar inputs are available and provide a graphic representation on the ATCO’s displays. Within the radar value chain the potential errors or disparities or drifts of precision, continuity or integrity are mainly located at the plot level after the radar feed and before the trackers or displays systems. Unfortunately the current systems are not provided with independent checking and correcting systems.


Streamlined national Civil-Airforce surveillance networks - and international ATC inputs

Our systems such as MIP RADNET and the SEP Sensor Evaluation System enable CAA's, Air-Forces, Customs and Emergency agencies to cooperate more efficiently with a scaleable integration of surveillance means between networks.  ATC authorities can integrate any type of third-party radar feed into the national surveillance system. Whether with national organizations such as the Air-Forces, Customs or Law-Enforcement Forces, or with neighboring countries such  in a regional cooperative dynamic. These systems will give ATC authorities the possibility to control and select the information entering the national surveillance system in terms of quality, time, nature of operation or sectors. On the same token it will enable INAC to dispatch back on the third party network the desired information according to specific pre-defined conditions.