Re: I truly hope so
I am one of those who thinks the researchers claims include some exaggerated speculation, particularly on using radar units as microwave ovens. Also he leaves out TCAS. How could he leave out TCAS?
There is TCAS (traffic collision avoidance system) and I truly hope TCAS is secure because pilots are trained to obey any Resolution Alerts (RAs) TCAS issues immediately and almost without exception, including over-ruling ATC instructions.
TCAS was not originally satellite based, but it seems many units use GPS information provided by the aircraft, and that GPS information is of course satellite based.
www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/TCAS%20II%20V7.1%20Intro%20booklet.pdf page 21
"With passive surveillance, position data provided by an onboard navigation source is broadcast from the intruder's Mode S transponder. The position data is typically based on GPS and received on own ship by the use of Mode S extended squitter, i.e. 1090 MHz ADS-B, also known as 1090ES. Standards for Hybrid Surveillance have been published in RTCA DO-300."
As I say, TCAS can issue Resolution Alerts (RAs) which are orders to pilots overrule even instructions from the ATC. Pilots are trained to do what TCAS says without question.
"TCAS involves communication between all aircraft equipped with an appropriate transponder (provided the transponder is enabled and set up properly). Each TCAS-equipped aircraft interrogates all other aircraft in a determined range about their position (via the 1.03 GHz radio frequency), and all other aircraft reply to other interrogations (via 1.09 GHz). This interrogation-and-response cycle may occur several times per second.
"The TCAS system builds a three dimensional map of aircraft in the airspace, incorporating their range (garnered from the interrogation and response round trip time), altitude (as reported by the interrogated aircraft), and bearing (by the directional antenna from the response). Then, by extrapolating current range and altitude difference to anticipated future values, it determines if a potential collision threat exists.
"TCAS and its variants are only able to interact with aircraft that have a correctly operating mode C or mode S transponder. A unique 24-bit identifier is assigned to each aircraft that has a mode S transponder.
"The next step beyond identifying potential collisions is automatically negotiating a mutual avoidance manoeuver (currently, manoeuvers are restricted to changes in altitude and modification of climb/sink rates) between the two (or more) conflicting aircraft. These avoidance manoeuvers are communicated to the flight crew by a cockpit display and by synthesized voice instructions.
"A protected volume of airspace surrounds each TCAS equipped aircraft. The size of the protected volume depends on the altitude, speed, and heading of the aircraft involved in the encounter. The illustration below gives an example of a typical TCAS protection volume.
A TCAS installation consists of the following components:
"TCAS computer unit
Performs airspace surveillance, intruder tracking, its own aircraft altitude tracking, threat detection, resolution advisory (RA) manoeuvre determination and selection, and generation of advisories. The TCAS Processor uses pressure altitude, radar altitude, and discrete aircraft status inputs from its own aircraft to control the collision avoidance logic parameters that determine the protection volume around the TCAS aircraft.
The antennas used by TCAS II include a directional antenna that is mounted on the top of the aircraft and either an omnidirectional or a directional antenna mounted on the bottom of the aircraft. Most installations use the optional directional antenna on the bottom of the aircraft. In addition to the two TCAS antennas, two antennas are also required for the Mode S transponder. One antenna is mounted on the top of the aircraft while the other is mounted on the bottom. These antennas enable the Mode S transponder to receive interrogations at 1030 MHz and reply to the received interrogations at 1090 MHz.
The TCAS interface with the pilots is provided by two displays: the traffic display and the RA display. These two displays can be implemented in a number of ways, including displays that incorporate both displays into a single, physical unit. Regardless of the implementation, the information displayed is identical. The standards for both the traffic display and the RA display are defined in DO-185A.
"TCAS works in a coordinated manner, so when an RA is issued to conflicting aircraft, a required action (i.e., Climb. Climb.) has to be immediately performed by one of the aircraft, while the other one receives a similar RA in the opposite direction (i.e., Descend. Descend.).
"When an RA is issued, pilots are expected to respond immediately to the RA unless doing so would jeopardize the safe operation of the flight. This means that aircraft will at times have to manoeuver contrary to ATC instructions or disregard ATC instructions. In these cases, the controller is no longer responsible for separation of the aircraft involved in the RA until the conflict is terminated.