Re: COTS versus Bespoke ATC Systems

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From: Peter B. Ladkin (ladkin(at)
Date: Fri 07 Jun 2002 - 20:08:50 BST

(PGN, this is not for Risks)

Nancy Leveson wrote:

> Peter Ladkin writes:
>      ... the 1.3 MLOC STARS...
> and elsewhere describes NERC has having 2.0 MLOC.

I cited others. Nordwall says STARS has 1.3 MLOC. Mead said over 400KLOC
bespoke and Marchilena said 960 KLOC common and 400 KLOC bespoke to the House
Aviation subcommittee in 2001. 

There is a system called Full STARS. If Raytheon is saying 5 MLOC to Nancy
and 1.4 MLOC to the House, then they're in trouble with someone all right.
But who?......

The 2MLOC figure for the NERC is a fairly standard figure, from NATS itself
and from news reporting in the trade press.

> Does anyone have any information on the following?  I was told by someone
> within Eurocontrol that they were so desperate to get the NERC on line
> (from a political standpoint) that they were actually running the old
> software in the new facility.  

I don't see how that's possible. As far as I know, LATCC has separate
stations with separate feeds. Partitioned data. NERC is a LAN. 

Eurocontrol has lots of rumors about NATS. Conversely, NATS has lots of
rumors about Eurocontrol. There is a non-trivial reason for this. The two 
of them have huge compatability problems, they both need each other 
desperately, and I imagine there is all kinds of jockeying to see whose 
protocols get to dominate the interface.

> Has all the new software been installed
> in the NERC and is only the new software running the system?

There is no way that anyone who really knows could say. 


Peter B. Ladkin PhD FBCS CW(hon)
Professor of Computer Networks and Distributed Systems,
Faculty of Technology, University of Bielefeld, 33594 Bielefeld, Germany
Tel (Vx/msg/Fax) +49 (0)521 880 7319
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