Let’s say you’re a layman who has to evaluate a very high-end purchase in a field outside of your expertise, maybe a high-end automobile like a Lamborghini Gallardo. Now, you don’t know much about the design concepts but you understand most of the promises and you do a diligent job of staying awake during the presentations.
You remember the presentations promised the car came with an automatic transmission along with electronic shifting paddles built into the steering column. In fact, one of the seminal advancements of this car was freedom from the legacy clutch concept.
But then later, when you saw photos of the driver’s seat, there were always three pedals – so you asked, hey, what’s that third pedal on the left? And they said, oh that’s a clutch. And you said But I thought one of the major breakthroughs was getting away from the drawbacks of the legacy clutch concept? And the salesmen said, Hey, have a tee-shirt and a thumb-drive.
Very interesting report by Aviation Daily’s Adrian Schofield, FAA’s NextGen Program Reaches Critical Period.
What’s interesting is, count the number of times the article uses the phrase “ground stations” in just the first page of this four-page article. The answer is: three times, and the phrases are: “ground stations required“, “700 ground stations will be needed“, and “required ground stations“.
But the Foundation has a distinct memory that NextGen was sold as a system that got rid of the inefficiencies of a ground-based ATC system and replaced it with a space-based ATC system. How come the space-based ATC system needs 700 ground stations?