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Aviation Glossary :: TCAS  Aviation Glossary :: TCAS FAA Written Test Preparation
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At Dauntless, our editorial staff maintains the web's largest unified glossary of aviation terms. This glossary is built from a combination of official, quasi-official, and proprietary sources (including original material that we develop oursselves). Uniquely, we often provide multiple definitions of a given term so that you can find that which best applies to you. In order to maximize your learning efficiency, this glossary (and similar ones for our international users) is incresingly fully integrated into our aviation learning apps, including our FAA written test prep and FAA practical test prep software and apps. If you like this glossary, you'll love them with their polished learning environments and world's best and clearest content (please do give them a try.).

TCAS
TCAS
traffic alert and collision avoidance system. An airborne system that interrogates mode A, C, and S transponders in nearby aircraft and uses the replies to identify and display potential and predicted collision threats.
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source: FAA Acceptable Methods - Aircraft Inspection and Repair (AC 43.13-1B)

An onboard system that detects the presence of some aircraft operating in the vicinity of the airplane by querying the transponders of nearby aircraft and presenting their locations and relative altitudes on a display. Alerts and warnings are issued when nearby aircraft are deemed to be a threat to safety. Traffic advisory systems such as ADS-B are an offshoot of newer technologies, but do not yet offer the reliability or accuracy of proven, certified TCAS units.
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source: FAA Advanced Avionics Handbook (FAA-H-8083-6)

Traffi Alert Collision Avoidance System.
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source: FAA Aviation Maintenance Technician Airframe Handbook (FAA-H-8083-31)

An airborne collision avoidance system based on radar beacon signals which operates independent of ground-based equipment. TCAS-I generates traffic advisories only. TCAS-II generates traffic advisories, and resolution (collision avoidance) advisories in the vertical plane.
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source: FAA Pilot/Controller Glossary

Traffic Alert Collision Avoidance System (TCAS): An airborne system developed by the FAA that operates independently from the ground-based Air Traffic Control system. Designed to increase flight deck awareness of proximate aircraft and to serve as a “last line of defense” for the prevention of mid-air collisions.
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source: FAA Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25A)

Traffic Collision Avoidance System: TCAS is a communication between aircraft equipped with an appropriate transponder. Each TCAS-equipped aircraft “interrogates” all other aircraft in a determined range about their position, and all other TCAS-equipped aircraft reply to other interrogations. This interrogation-and-response cycle may occur several times per second. Through this constant backand- forth communication, the TCAS system builds a three dimensional map of aircraft in the airspace, incorporating their bearing, altitude and range. Then, by extrapolating current range and altitude difference to anticipated future values, it determines if a potential collision threat exists.
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source: ICAO English Pro Aviation Glossary


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Disclaimer: While this glossary in most cases is likely to be highly accurate and useful, sometimes, for any number of editorial, transcription, technical, and other reasons, it might not be. Additionally, as somtimes you may have found yourself brought to this page through an automated term matching system, you may find definitions here that do not match the cotext or application in which you saw the original term. Please use your good judgement when using this resource.


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