Seamless Aeronautical Networking through integration of Data Links, Radios and Antennas

Funding Programmes European Community - FP7 AAT- 2008- RTD-1

Partners   SELEX Communications S.p.A. (IT), Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DE), SELEX Sistemi Integrati S.p.A. (IT), Thales Alenia Space (FR), Thales Aerospace UK (UK), Thales Avionics (FR), Thales TRT-UK (UK), Airtel ATN (IE), Acreo (SE), Alenia Aeronautica (IT), Altys (FR), Bradford University (UK), Cyner (NL), Dassault Aviation (FR), Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH (DE), EADS Innovation Works France (FR), Gatehouse (DK), IMST GmbH (DE), Intecs (IT), INRIA (FR), Lionix BV (NL), Monitorsoft (RU), NLR (NL), RadioLabs (IT), SITA (CH), Slot Consulting (HU), TriaGnoSys GmbH (DE), University of Twente (NL), University of Pisa (IT), Paris Lodron Universität Salzburg (AT), Ernst & Young (UK)

Description  SANDRA project will design, implement and validate through in-flight trials an integrated aeronautical communications system based on an open architecture, a common set of interfaces, and on well-proven industry standards, aiming at (i) consolidating the existing requirements from different domains, user groups, and past or ongoing projects, also extending them where needed and encompassing regulatory and certification issues; (ii) defining an extensive set of system usage scenarios/operational scenarios for the architecture proposed; and, (iii) defining a global system architecture with a multi-domain architectural approach (ATS, AOC/AAC, APC, A/G & A/A).

From a technical perspective, algorithms and protocols for an integrated aeronautical network based on IPv6 will be put forward, and their effectiveness will be proved via extensive simulation and prototype implementation.

Furthermore, since such an integration at service and network level is not sufficient to ensure low complexity and low cost of the airborne infrastructure, SANDRA will also address integration at radio and antenna level. First, a prototype Integrated Modular Radio (IMR) system connected to multiple bearers, i.e. Inmarsat SBB class 6/7, Ku DVB-S2, AeroWiMAX, VHF Voice, and VDL Mode 2, will be developed, featuring automatic reconfiguration in the event of component failure, the capability to give priority to the most critical links currently in operation, and the ability to seamlessly roam between the bearers. Second, design, test and implementation of an integrated SatCom antenna prototype (L-band TX+RX, Ku-band Rxonly) using novel optical beamforming techniques will be carried out.

For the specific case of airport connectivity, SANDRA will focus on adaptation and integration into the global system architecture of the existing WiMAX standard, in full compliance with SESAR and FCI recommendations, by means of the definition, design and validation of a technical profile and architecture for a WiMAX based airport wide area network. This will enable improved information distribution and provide lower cost, as well as safer and more efficient airport surface operations.

All the prototypes developed in SANDRA will be integrated in a final testbed, aiming at validating the SANDRA concept and show the benefits of the integrated SANDRA approach in terms of adaptability and reconfigurability, with respect to the existing aeronautical communications systems.

In addition to the dissemination to all the stakeholders of the key findings by means of workshops, user forums and scientific publications in relevant journals and magazines, SANDRA will also actively contribute to the standardization, certification & regulatory work to be completed in SESAR and other relevant groups.

Intecs has a key role in the project since it is solely responsible of the development of the Medium Access Control (MAC) and Convergence Sublayer (CS) of the AeroWiMAX component of the IMR, and it contributes to the design and implementation of the AeroWiMAX physical layer and the core IMR interconnection module.

Links     Project website

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