Transponder (aeronautics)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from ICAO 24-bit address)
Jump to: navigation, search
Transponder
CessnaARC-RT-359ATransponder04.jpg
Cessna ARC RT-359A transponder (beige box), beneath a VHF radio. In this example, the transponder code selected is 1200 for VFR flight. The green IDENT button is marked "ID".

A transponder (short-for transmitter-responder[1] and sometimes abbreviated to XPDR,[2] XPNDR,[3] TPDR[4] or TP[5]) is an electronic device that produces a response when it receives a radio-frequency interrogation. Aircraft have transponders to assist in identifying them on air traffic control radar; and collision avoidance systems have been developed to use transponder transmissions as a means of detecting aircraft at risk of colliding with each other.[6][7]

Air traffic control units use the term "squawk" when they are assigning an aircraft a transponder code, e.g., "Squawk 7421". Squawk thus can be said to mean "select transponder code" or "squawking" to mean "I have selected transponder code xxxx".[6]

History[edit]

The aviation transponder was originally developed during World War II by the British and American military as an "identification, friend or foe" (IFF) system to differentiate friendly from enemy aircraft on radar. The concept became a core of NORAD technology in the defence of North America during the Cold War.[citation needed]

This concept was adapted in the 1950s by civil air traffic control using secondary surveillance radar (beacon radar) systems to provide traffic services for general aviation and commercial aviation.

Secondary surveillance radar[edit]

Secondary surveillance radar (SSR) is referred to as "secondary", to distinguish it from the "primary radar" that works by passively reflecting a radio signal off the skin of the aircraft. Primary radar determines range and bearing to a target with reasonably high fidelity, but it cannot determine target elevation (altitude) reliably except at close range. SSR uses an active transponder (beacon) to transmit a response to an interrogation by a secondary radar. This response most often includes the aircraft's pressure altitude and a 4-digit octal identifier.[7][8]

Transponder modes[edit]

Operation[edit]

A pilot may be requested to squawk a given code by the air traffic controller via the radio, using a phrase such as "Cessna 123AB, squawk 0363". The pilot then selects the 0363 code on their transponder and the track on the radar screen of the air traffic controller will become correctly associated with their identity.[6][7]

Because primary radar generally gives bearing and range position information, but lacks altitude information, mode C and mode S transponders also report pressure altitude. Some lower-end altimeters do not normally have a built in encoder and so a modified Gray code, called a Gillham code, is used to pass altitude information to the transponder. Around busy airspace there is often a regulatory requirement that all aircraft be equipped with an altitude-reporting mode C or mode S transponders. In the United States, this is known as a Mode C veil. Mode S transponders are compatible with transmitting the mode C signal, and have the capability to report in 25 foot increments. Without the pressure altitude reporting, the air traffic controller has no display of accurate altitude information, and must rely on the altitude reported by the pilot via radio.[6][7] Similarly, the traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) installed on some aircraft needs the altitude information supplied by transponder signals.

Ident[edit]

All mode A, C, and S transponders include an "IDENT" button, which activates a special thirteenth bit on the mode A reply known as IDENT, short for "identify"". When ground-based radar equipment[9] receives the IDENT bit, it results in the aircraft's blip "blossoming" on the radar scope. This is often used by the controller to locate the aircraft amongst others by requesting the ident function from the pilot, e.g., "Cessna 123AB, squawk 0363 and ident".[6][7]

Ident can also be used in case of a reported or suspected radio failure to determine if the failure is only one way and whether the pilot can still transmit or receive, but not both, e.g., "Cessna 123AB, if you read, squawk ident".[7]

Transponder codes[edit]

Transponder codes are four digit numbers transmitted by the transponder in an aircraft in response to a secondary surveillance radar interrogation signal to assist air traffic controllers in traffic separation. A discrete transponder code (often called a squawk code) is assigned by air traffic controllers to uniquely identify an aircraft. This allows easy identification of aircraft on radar.[6][7]

Squawk codes are four-digit octal numbers; the dials on a transponder read from zero to seven, inclusive. Thus the lowest possible squawk is 0000 and the highest is 7777. Four octal digits can represent up to 4096 different codes, which is why such transponders are often called "4096 code transponders." Care must be taken not to squawk any emergency code during a code change. For example, when changing from 1200 to 6501 (an assigned ATC squawk), one might turn the second wheel to a 5 (thus 1500), and then rotate the first wheel backwards in the sequence 1-0-7-6 to get to 6. This would momentarily have the transponder squawking a hijack code (7500), which might lead to more attention than one desires. Pilots are instructed not to place the transponder in "standby mode" while changing the codes, as it causes the loss of target information on the ATC radar screen, but instead to carefully change codes to avoid inadvertently selecting an emergency code. Additionally, modern digital transponders are operated by buttons to avoid this problem.[6][7]

The use of the word "squawk" comes from the system's origin in the World War II identification, friend or foe (IFF) system, which was code-named "Parrot".[10][11]

Code assignments[edit]

Beacon code Allocated use
0000
  • Shall not be used — is a non-discrete mode A code (Europe)[12]
  • Mode C or other SSR failure (UK)[13]
  • Should never be assigned (USA)[14]
  • Military intercept code (USA)[15]
  • Internal ARTCC subsets assigned by En Route Safety and Operations Support (Discrete codes only except for first primary block to be used as non-discrete if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
0021
  • VFR squawk code for airspace 5000 feet and below — from 15 March 2007 replaced by the international 7000 code for VFR traffic (Germany)[16]
0022
  • VFR squawk code for airspace (above 5000 feet) — from 15 March 2007 replaced by the international 7000 code for VFR traffic (Germany)[16]
0033
  • Parachute dropping in progress (UK)[13]
0041-0057
  • Assigned for VFR traffic under Flight Information Services (BXL FIC) (Belgium)
0100
  • Flights operating at aerodromes (in lieu of codes 1200, 2000 or 3000 when assigned by ATC or noted in the Enroute Supplement Australia) (Australia)[17]
0100-0400
  • Allocated to Service Area Operations for assignment for use by Terminal/CERAP/Industry/Unique Purpose/Experimental Activities (USA)[14]
0100-0700
  • Non-discrete code assignments in accordance with FAA Order JO 7110.65, 5-2 *Also for use in oceanic airspace, unless another code is assigned by ATC (USA)[14]
0500, 0600, 0700
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
1000
  • Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) flight below 18,000' when no other code has been assigned (Canada)[6]
  • Non-discrete mode A code reserved use in Mode S radar/ADS-B environment where the aircraft identification will be used to correlate the flight plan instead of the mode A code (ICAO)[12]
  • Used exclusively by ADS-B aircraft to inhibit Mode 3A transmit (USA)[14]
  • Non-discrete code assignments in accordance with FAA Order JO 7110.65, 5-2 *Also for use in oceanic airspace, unless another code is assigned by ATC (USA)[14]
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
1100
  • Non-discrete code assignments in accordance with FAA Order JO 7110.65, 5-2 *Also for use in oceanic airspace, unless another code is assigned by ATC (USA)[14]
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
1200
  • Civil VFR flights in class E or G airspace (Australia)[17]
  • Visual flight rules (VFR) flight, this is the standard squawk code used in North American airspace when no other has been assigned (Canada and USA)[6][14]
1201
  • Visual flight rules (VFR) glider operations for gliders not in contact with ATC, through February 2012 (USA)[18]
  • Assigned via FAR 93.95 for use by VFR aircraft in the immediate vicinity of LAX (USA)[14]
1202
1203-1272
  • Discrete 1200 series codes, unless otherwise allocated (for example, 1255), designated for DVFR aircraft and only assigned by FSS (USA)[14]
1255
  • Aircraft not in contact with an ATC facility while en route to/from or within the designated fire fighting area(s) (USA)[14][19]
1273-1275
  • Calibration Performance Monitoring Equipment (CPME) “Parrot” transponders (USA)[14]
1276
1277
  • VFR aircraft which fly authorized SAR missions for the USAF or USCG while en route to/from or within the designated search area (USA)[14][19]
1300
  • Non-discrete code assignments in accordance with FAA Order JO 7110.65, 5-2 *Also for use in oceanic airspace, unless another code is assigned by ATC (USA)[14]
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
1400
  • VFR flight above 12,500' ASL when no other code has been assigned (Canada)[6]
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
1500
  • Non-discrete code assignments in accordance with FAA Order JO 7110.65, 5-2 *Also for use in oceanic airspace, unless another code is assigned by ATC (USA)[14]
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
1600, 1700
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
2000
  • Civil IFR flights in Class G airspace (Australia)[17]
  • Uncontrolled IFR at or above 18,000' (Canada)[6]
  • The code to be squawked when entering a secondary surveillance radar (SSR) area from a non-SSR area used as Uncontrolled IFR flight squawk code (ICAO countries)[12]
  • Non-discrete code assignments in accordance with FAA Order JO 7110.65, 5-2 *Also for use in oceanic airspace, unless another code is assigned by ATC (USA)[14]
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
2100
  • Ground testing by aircraft maintenance staff (Australia)[17]
  • Non-discrete code assignments in accordance with FAA Order JO 7110.65, 5-2 *Also for use in oceanic airspace, unless another code is assigned by ATC (USA)[14]
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
2200, 2300, 2400
  • Non-discrete code assignments in accordance with FAA Order JO 7110.65, 5-2 *Also for use in oceanic airspace, unless another code is assigned by ATC (USA)[14]
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
2500, 2600, 2700
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
3000
  • Civil flights in classes A, C and D airspace, or IFR flights in Class E airspace (Australia)[17]
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
3100, 3200, 3300, 3400, 3500, 3600, 3700
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
4000
  • Civil flights not involved in special operations or SAR, operating in Class G airspace in excess of 15NM offshore (Australia)[17]
  • Aircraft on a VFR Military Training Route or requiring frequent or rapid changes in altitude (USA)[20]
  • Non-discrete code assignments in accordance with FAA Order JO 7110.65, 5-2 *Also for use in oceanic airspace, unless another code is assigned by ATC (USA)[14]
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
4100
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
4200, 4300
  • Internal ARTCC subsets assigned by En Route Safety and Operations Support (Discrete codes only except for first primary block to be used as non-discrete if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
4400-4477
4401-4433
  • Reserved in accordance with FAA Order JO 7110.67 (Fed Law Enforcement) (USA)[14]
4434-4437
  • Weather reconnaissance, as appropriate (USA)[14]
4440-4441
  • Operations above FL600 for Lockheed/NASA from Moffett Field (USA)[14]
4442-4446
  • Operations above FL600 for Lockheed from Air Force Plant 42 (USA)[14]
4447-4452
  • Operations above FL600 for SR-71/U-2 operations from Edwards AFB (USA)[14]
4453
  • High balloon operations – National Scientific Balloon Facility, Palestine TX, and other providers, some in international operations (USA)[14]
4454-4465
  • Air Force operations above FL600 as designated in FAA Order 7610.4 (USA)[14]
4466-4477
  • Reserved in accordance with FAA Order JO 7110.67 (Fed Law Enforcement) (USA)[14]
4500, 4600, 4700
  • Internal ARTCC subsets assigned by En Route Safety and Operations Support (Discrete codes only except for first primary block to be used as non-discrete if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
5000
  • Aircraft flying on military operations (Australia)[17]
5000
  • Reserved for use by NORAD (USA and Canada)[14]
5061-5062, 5100, 5200
  • Reserved for special use by Potomac TRACON (USA)[14]
5100, 5200, 5300, 5500
  • Internal ARTCC subsets assigned by En Route Safety and Operations Support (Discrete codes only except for first primary block to be used as non-discrete if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
5100-5300
  • May be used by DOD aircraft beyond radar coverage but inside US controlled airspace with coordination as appropriate with applicable Area Operations Directorate (USA)[14]
5400
  • Reserved for use by NORAD (USA and Canada)[14]
5600, 5700
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
6000
  • Military flights in Class G airspace (Australia)[17]
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
6100
  • Reserved for use by NORAD (USA and Canada)[14]
6200, 6300
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
6400
  • Reserved for use by NORAD (USA and Canada)[14]
6500, 6600, 6700
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
7000
  • VFR standard squawk code when no other code has been assigned (ICAO)[12]
  • This code does not imply VFR; 7000 is used as a general conspicuity squawk (UK)[13]
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
7001
  • Used in some countries to identify VFR traffic (France)
  • Sudden military climb out from low-level operations (UK)[13]
7004
7100, 7200, 7300, 7400
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
7500
7501-7577
  • Reserved for use by Continental NORAD Region (CONR) (USA)[14]
7600
7601-7607
  • Reserved for special use by FAA (USA)[14]
7610-7676
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
7615
  • Civil flights engaged in littoral surveillance (Australia)[17]
7700
  • Emergency (ICAO, worldwide)[6][14]
7701-7707
  • Reserved for special use by FAA (USA)[14]
7710-7776
  • External ARTCC subsets (Discrete codes of blocks only except for first primary block, which is used as the ARTCC’s non-discrete code if all discrete codes are assigned) (USA)[14]
7777
  • Non-discrete code used by fixed test transponders (RABMs) to check correctness of radar stations (BITE) (Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, USA)
  • DOD interceptor aircraft on active air defense missions and operating without ATC clearance in accordance with FAA Order 7610.4 (USA)[14][21]

Codes assigned by ATC[edit]

Most codes above can be selected by aircraft if and when the situation requires or allows it, without permission from ATC. Other codes are generally assigned by ATC units.[6][7] For IFR flights, the squawk code is typically assigned as part of the departure clearance and stays the same throughout the flight.[6][7]

VFR flights, when in uncontrolled airspace, will "squawk VFR" (or conspicuity code in the UK)[22](1200 in the U.S., 7000 in Europe). Upon contact with an ATC unit, they will be told to squawk a certain unique code. When changing frequency, for instance because the VFR flight leaves controlled airspace or changes to another ATC unit, the VFR flight will be told to "squawk VFR" again.[6][7]

In order to avoid confusion over assigned squawk codes, ATC units will typically be allocated blocks of squawk codes, not overlapping with the blocks of nearby ATC units, to assign at their discretion.

Not all ATC units will use radar to identify aircraft, but they assign squawk codes nevertheless. As an example, London Information — the Flight Information Service station that covers the lower half of the UK — does not have access to radar images, but does assign squawk code 1177 to all aircraft that receive a FIS from them. This tells other radar equipped ATC units that that specific aircraft is listening on the London Information radio frequency, in case they need to contact that aircraft.[22]

See also[edit]

Transponder-related accidents

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mangine, Robert (2007). "The Truth About Transponders". Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  2. ^ Farlex, Inc (2008). "XPDR". Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  3. ^ Farlex, Inc (2008). "XPNDR". Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  4. ^ Farlex, Inc (2008). "TPDR". Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  5. ^ Farlex, Inc (2008). "TP". Retrieved 2008-12-24. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Transport Canada (20 May 2010). "TP 14371 — Transport Canada Aeronautical Information Manual (TC AIM) RAC 1.9 Transponder Operation". Retrieved 21 August 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Peppler, I.L.: From The Ground Up, pages 238–239. Aviation Publishers Co. Limited, Ottawa Ontario, Twenty Seventh Revised Edition, 1996. ISBN 0-9690054-9-0
  8. ^ Phil Vabre. "Air Traffic Services Surveillance Systems". www.airwaysmuseum.com. Retrieved 2010-04-15. 
  9. ^ Rogers, Tom. "Transponder Basics". AVweb. Retrieved 2014-03-18. 
  10. ^ Getline, Meryl (17 April 2006). "Ask the Captain: Strangle my WHAT?". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  11. ^ Vabre, Phil. "Air Traffic Services Surveillance Systems, Including An Explanation of Primary and Secondary Radar". The Airways Museum & Civil Aviation Historical Society. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  12. ^ a b c d ICAO doc 4444 & ICAO Annex 10
  13. ^ a b c d e "UK AIP ENR 1.6.2 — SSR Operating Procedures and UK SSR Code Assignment Plan" (PDF). UK Civil Aviation Authority. 6 November 2007. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq US Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration. "JO 7110.66D, National Beacon Code Allocation Plan". US Government. Retrieved 26 April 2012. 
  15. ^ "Radio Communications". Cleared for Takeoff: Your Handbook for Becoming a Private Pilot (Revision E ed.). King Schools, Inc. 2006. pp. 4–16. 
  16. ^ a b "Change of German VFR transponder codes A/C 7000 replaces A/C 0021 and A/C 0022". SkyControl Aviation & Aerospace News. 6 November 2007. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i Australian AIP ENR 1.6 para 7.1.4
  18. ^ a b FAA ORDER/PUBLICATION: 7110.65U dated 5/18/2011
  19. ^ a b FAA order JO 7110.65U
  20. ^ a b "FAA Order 7110.65R (Air Traffic Control procedural manual) — chapter 5.2, Beacon Systems". Federal Aviation Authority. 21 January 2008. 
  21. ^ "Aeronautical Information Manual, chapter 4 — Air Traffic Control". Federal Aviation Administration. 6 November 2007. 
  22. ^ a b ENR 1.6.2 — SSR Operating Procedures