Collier Trophy Goes to ADS-B

The National Aeronautical Association (NAA) awarded the 2007 Robert J. Collier Trophy not to an airplane, company or individual, but to a technology, automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast, or ADS-B. The NAA also recognized a number of companies and organizations, private, nonprofit and governmental, for their part in the development of ADS-B.

Even if you don't know anything about ADS-B now, you will before too long, because it is the FAA's planned replacement for much of our present-day radar system. And while the NAA says that the Collier recipient will be tested in actual service, that requirement seems to be loosely considered these days. ADS-B has undergone extensive tests in Alaska under various FAA programs, and it has shown great promise at improving safety and increasing utility, but it has only recently been selected by the FAA for adoption, and the system is still years away from being fully implemented.

ADS-B beat out the Airbus A-380 superjumbo commercial airliner and the cutting edge Dassault Falcon 7X business jet, among other nominees.