The digital information facility
The acceptance and implementation of advanced digital avionics and flight control systems is dependent on the successful integration of these systems into the current and future National Airspace System (NAS). This paper describes a digital avionics systems research facility known as the Digital Information Facility (DIF) developed to provide researchers with the ground systems and air-to-ground interfaces needed to conduct and document experiments involving a mix of new technologies within the existing NAS infrastructure. The DIF supports four NAS functions: Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC), Flight Information Services (FIS), Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) navigation, and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). The DIF also includes the capability to record pilot and air traffic management interactions and document research participant observations. The DIF capability includes connectivity to flight test and simulated aircraft in a fully immersive Communications, Navigation, and Surveillance (CNS) environment.