The Discrete Address Beacon System (DABS)
The requirement for additional automation in the air traffic control process has placed new emphasis on the need for high quality surveillance data and for a ground-to-aircraft data link. The ATCRBS beacon system has proven a valuable complement to radar because it provides the ground controller with position, identity, and altitude data that is not contaminated by ground and weather clutter. However, the growing number of beacon-equipped aircraft and ground interrogators and the inherent self-interference limitations of the ATCRBS beacon system have motivated the need for a more reliable and flexible beacon system. The 1969 the Air Traffic Control Advisory Committee recommended the development of such an improved system which they named the Discrete Address Beacon System (DABS), incorporating both surveillance and a data link. Since 1971, M.I.T. Lincoln Laboratory, under the sponsorship of the FAA, has been investigating various DABS design options.