Propagation of mode S beacon signals on the airport surface
January 1, 1989
Many airports across the United States will soon be equipped with Mode S, a next generation beacon (or secondary) radar system. One feature of Mode S is that it provides a data link between airborne aircraft and air traffic controllers. If Mode S could be used to communicate with aircraft on the airport surface, the radar system would improve airport safety and efficiency on runways and taxiways. The airport surface, however, is a hostile propagation environment. This article outlines a candidate design for the propagation of Mode-S beacon signals on the airport surface. Data that support the feasibility of Mode S for surveilling runways and taxiways are presented.