discrete address beacon system
Also found in: Acronyms.
discrete address beacon system[di‚skrēt ′ad·res ′hē·kən ‚sis·təm]
discrete address beacon system (DABS)
A sophisticated air traffic control surveillance system capable of interrogating each airborne DABS transponder in an “all call” mode or with a discrete address signal coded for each specific aircraft operating in the system. The data acquired upon response from each transponder are then processed to provide the range, azimuth, altitude, and identity of each aircraft in the system on an individual basis but in sequence on a programmed interro-schedule. Since aircraft are addressed individually in this system, this sophisticated surveillance system automatically provides a natural vehicle for a data link between the ground and aircraft that can be used for ATC (air traffic control) purposes.