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Iris Information Event – presentations available for download

28 May 2010

More than 100 representatives of the Communications, Navigation and Surveillance Systems for Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) community as well as from the European telecommunication & space industry attended an information event on the Iris Programme on 26 and 27 May 2010 in Prague, the Czech Republic.

Organised in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport of the Czech Republic, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic, and the Czech Space Office, the event provided stakeholders in the Iris Programme with up-to-date information, now that industrial activities of Iris Phase 2.1 are underway. Presentations given at the event are available for download by clicking here, or using the link under related links in the column to the right.

Ms. Magali Vaissiere, Director of the ESA Telecommunications and Integrated Applications Directorate, highlighted that Iris is a user-driven initiative, which falls within the mandate of ESA to promote new applications of space technology. In her presentation Ms. Vaissiere said: “Through continuous coordination with all stakeholders, ESA is looking at providing the aeronautical community with the most pertinent space element for the next generation ATM communication system.”

The event opened with speeches from Mrs. Dita Schautova, Deputy Minister of Transport, and Mr. Vlastimil Ruzicka,  Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, who welcomed the participants in Prague and expressed the importance of Iris for the current participation of the Czech Republic in ESA activities. Mr. Ivan Hubert, director of the Corporate Development and International Coordination of the Czech Air Navigation Services, provided an overview of CNS/ATM in the Czech Republic and explained aviation’s need for new datalinks.

Mr. Nicolas Warinsko, representing the European Commission, introduced the Single European Sky policy and SESAR as its technological pillar. He underlined SESAR ambitious objectives and also provided perspectives on how the satcom element of the SESAR architecture, for which Iris is a potential contribution, could be deployed, certified and operated into the Single European Sky framework.

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) represented by Mr. Filippo Tomasello, explained its involvement with Iris and highlighted that EASA’s early involvement will facilitate future regulatory activities, notably the progressive building of the technical file.

Mr. Nikos Fistas (Eurocontrol), the SESAR JU Sub-Work Package 15.2 Manager, presented the communication architecture considered in the SESAR projects, described the multilink concept and presented the terrestrial component of the future communication system. A joint presentation with the project manager of the SESAR JU Project 15.2.6 explained how these projects provide user requirements to activities of the Iris Programme. The SESAR Programme’s objectives and the programmatic structure were presented by Mr. Philippe Renaud, who stressed the need for multiple links to guarantee the availability of communications between the aircraft and the ground.

ESA explained the technical hypotheses used by all Iris projects. Ms. Nathalie Ricard, Iris Programme manager, explained that industrial activities consider both the design of a system specifically designed for ATM communications (ANTARES study), or the adaptation for safety of an existing system designed for commercial communications (THAUMAS study). The objective is to make the best use of all European competences and to prepare European Industry to offer the best solution for a worldwide application.

Presentations were then given by the prime contractors of all projects of Iris Phase 2.1.

The THAUMAS team presented the status of their work on how to adapt Inmarsat’s Swiftbroadband system for safety communications.

The ANTARES team gave a detailed account of the current status of its activities. As SESAR requirements are under consolidation, the ANTARES team is currently designing several system options to provide feedback to SESAR on consequences of requirements variations in terms of cost and complexity of the system required. Decisions regarding these technical options will be taken with SESAR by the time of the ANTARES system requirements review.

Three studies (HERMES, OPERA and SIRIO) address the operation of the satellite system designed by ANTARES and the business case for service provision. The studies are being carried out by competing teams to define conditions for private entities to be further involved in deploying and operating the system.

Mr. Franco Ongaro, Head of ESA’s Telecommunication Technology, Products & Systems Department, concluded the meeting by pointing out that there has been significant progress in the position of satcom in the Single European Sky and SESAR, with clear indications of satcom as one of the three main datalinks to be developed as enablers for the future ATM network.

"There's very good cooperation between the EC, SESAR JU, EASA and ESA. While the requirements are being refined by the SJU, Iris work progresses by assessing options and their costs with the aim to provide low installation and operations costs for the airspace users," explained Mr. Ongaro.

The next steps will be to deliver technical specification for the new standard, to select a system baseline, and to start preparing Iris Phase 2.2, especially looking at the ESA Member States’ decision which must be prepared by mid-2011.

To view the presentations, and for more information on Iris Phase 2.1 projects, see the links located in the column to the right.

Last Update: 28 May 2010

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