Iris ANTARES study produces first draft of satellite communications standard
19 Apr 2012
The first draft of the ANTARES Technical specifications is now available for download. Produced by the Iris ANTARES project, this document defines a new satellite-based communication standard for air traffic management (ATM). Its specifications address the user, control and management planes of the communication protocols used by aircraft to exchange data with ground control.
The requirements for the ANTARES design are defined by the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) programme. ESA designs a solution in close collaboration with the projects of the SESAR Joint Undertaking.
Thales Alenia Space Italy was awarded the ANTARES contract in 2009. Leading a team of top representatives from the aviation world and the space industry, the ANTARES project set out to produce a satellite communications standard as well as design and implementation of the associated infrastructure.
The new satellite communication system will be a key enabler for the modernisation of air traffic management. It will enable aircraft and ground control to implement 4D trajectory management, improving flight efficiency.
Following a large amount of technical trade-off analyses, which began in 2010, the ANTARES team selected the most appropriate technologies to meet SESAR’s requirements. End users’ requirements for 4D trajectory management are currently being consolidated, with a process of iterations between the operational concept and the definition of technical characteristics for data exchanges. The very first test flight using the initial 4D trajectory concept took place earlier this year.
As a consequence of future consolidation and refinement activities, some revisions and updates to the ANTARES design can be expected. This document reflects the work done so far. Click here to access the document or see the links in the column to the right.
ESA has involved the best competences in the aviation, telecom research and industrial communities in Iris to make sure the lessons of the past are applied and that a wide community participates and shares the decisions to be taken. A review board consisting of ESA personnel under the authority of ESA’s Inspector General and external reviewers representing the SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU), Eurocontrol, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Airbus and the ATM Satcom Safety Board, evaluated whether the designs proposed by the ANTARES team were technically sound.
Under leadership from Thales Alenia Space Italy, INDRA (SP) has been responsible for the design of the communication protocols. The design involved competencies from both the aviation and telecommunication industries, notably Airtel ATN (IRL), Capgemini Norge (NO), Evolving Systems Consulting (CZ), Frequentis (AT), Honeywell International (CZ), Next (IT), SINTEF ICT (NO), Skysoft (PO), DLR(DE), Space Engineering (IT), Thales Alenia Space France (FR), Thales Avionics (UK), and the University of Salzburg (AT).
The next steps are to start the detailed design of, on one side, the communication protocols and the associated verification testbed and, on the other side, the satellite system infrastructure including the ground and space segments and user terminals to be used on-board aircraft. The technical specifications of the communication standard will be made available to all interested parties.
For more information see the links in the column to the right.
Last Update: 19 Apr 2012