The NEWSKY consortium, co-funded by the European Commission, announced today that it will run a live demonstration of the first air traffic control network based on IPv6 to integrate satellite and air-ground links, at ATC Global 2009 inAmsterdam,Netherlands, 17-19March. The technology on display enables hand-over between different satellite and air-ground communication links, which is central to NEWSKY’s next generation network.
The NEWSKY network is designed to meet future air traffic control needs, in particular by increasing both available bandwidth and geographic reach, to enable both the increased level of data communications, and more strategic planning of flight routes. In addition, new business opportunities are addressed by considering in the network design non-safety critical airline information and passenger service needs.
The integrated network being demonstrated at ATC Global, on stand H129, will show advanced services such as graphical weather maps and VoIP, as well as passenger Internet connectivity. Further air traffic services applications are under development, as well as applications for airline operation communications, airline administrative correspondence, and inflight passenger communications.
In addition to the network, a simulation will show the NEWSKY approach on a large scale. The data traffic communication link characteristics and the overall network topology will be modelled to a high level of detail, to validate functions such as optimized IP mobility schemes and Quality of Service provision.
“The NEWSKY trials and simulations are a key step ahead towards the realisation of an integrated aeronautical communication system”, said project director Dr Frank Schreckenbach. “These communication technologies enable the cost-efficient provision of services to meet the high safety and security requirements for the expected air traffic increase.”
The modular architecture of the NEWSKY approach enables the cost-efficient integration of legacy and future data links for short range airport communications, long range en-route data transfer and satellite communications.
In addition, NEWSKY supports the move away from proprietary solutions in aviation to the use of commercial off-the-shelf Internet technologies. In this context, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Council has recently approved an amendment to the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN) for the use of the IP Suite (IPS). The NEWSKY consortium has contributed to the definition of ATN/IPS, and the NEWSKY demonstration will be based on this specification.