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ANASTASIA Airborne New Advanced Satellite Techniques and Technologies in A System Integrated Approach

Report on expected traffic growth and inmarsat-4 specific space segment resource requirements.

Lead contractor for this deliverable: Inmarsat Global Ltd.

Executive Summary

Inmarsat has investigated potential enhancements to its aeronautical version of BGAN, termed SwiftBroadband (SBB), that would enable a worldwide Air Traffic Management (ATM) capability over the Inmarsat-4 satellite system. This capability would allow any aircraft fitted with a SBB terminals to run data link messaging, netted voice and data, alongside other cockpit and cabin communications. Within the aeronautical domain today, Inmarsat with its partner JCAB, are the only operators that deliver operationally approved satellite datalink safety services. Service is delivered via the Classic Aero system and is currently approved for Oceanic operations. The Classic Aero service is thus an essential component of the worldwide ATM system. Today, more than 6750 air transport aircraft are equipped with Classic Aero and roughly over a third routinely use it for Future Air Navigation System (FANS) service. Almost all new wide body aircraft to be delivered by Airbus and Boeing this year will be equipped with Classic Aero satcom FANS capability. Recently Inmarsat has proposed to enhance SBB to provide voice and data Safety Service in Oceanic Airspace such that it can meet (and exceed) the FANS requirements. Inmarsat's existing SBB system ­ which supports High Gain and Intermediate Gain antenna systems - is ideally suited to Oceanic long range communications as the long haul fleet already have suitably upgradeable system components. Looking at Continental Airspace, there is ever increasing pressure on aviation spectrum in the VHF band, and continuing air traffic growth requires that civil aviation must find new ways to meet its communication requirements. Eurocontrol and FAA have, through initiatives such as the Future Communications Infrastructure (FCI) programme, been investigating potential solutions and in particular have looked at new communications systems operating in other frequency bands. A timeline of 2020 to 2030 has been set for the in-service date of new systems. These new systems will place greater emphasis on data rather than voice communications as Air Traffic Control via data link offers more efficient operations, providing air traffic capacity gains and enhanced safety services. Inmarsat has begun to study the potential to extend the SBB Safety Service capability to include the requirements for Continental Airspace operations as well ­ these are far more onerous. Key to ubiquitous take-up across the range of short-haul / general aviation aircraft will the introduction of smaller, lower-cost SBB terminal equipment,


akin to the existing Classic Aero-L that uses a small blade antenna. Changes to the ground network and air interface would be needed to meet the combined challenges of: closing the link to these small-aperture antennas; maintaining connectivity during turning and banking manoeuvres typically encountered in Continental airspace; plus providing the shorter message latency and higher reliability also demanded in Continental operation. Performance of the SBB air interface in support of future ATM requirements has been assessed and the potential for optimisation is presented in Inmarsat's companion report ANASTASIA D4.2.1 "End-to-End ATM System Based on SwiftBroadband". Link budget and propagation analysis show that a new low-gain SBB terminal could support data rates between 25kbps and 50kbps depending upon elevation angle to the satellite. This report provides comment on the preliminary capacity analysis conducted by TriaGnoSys within ANASTASIA D4.2.3.1, specifically as to how the said analysis could be further developed in reference to the SBB system. An independent capacity analysis has been performed by Inmarsat taking into account the new low-gain SBB terminal, and new bearer technology enabling link availability in the challenging aeronautical environment and the results presented herein. Inmarsat's capacity analysis against the requirements and traffic projections set by FAA /Eurocontrol indicates that it will be possible to carry the projected 2020 COCR Phase 2 traffic (in all airspace domains except polar and approach/landing) through low-gain terminals using 1MHz to 1.2MHz of spectrum. This is likely to be a worst case scenario, and that identifies certain input assumptions relating to deployment that require further validation, as modification to one or more of these assumptions would considerably reduce this future bandwidth requirement. If these future AMS(R)S requirements are to be met on Inmarsat satellites, additional spectrum would need to be allocated and Inmarsat would request this through the frequency coordination process.



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