Saturation of the ATM frequency bands will arise firstly in Europe from 2010/2015 on, and then in the USA creating severe traffic congestion and increasing safety risks. A short-term solution for USA consists in adopting the 8.33kHz spacing. This will not suffice in Europe. Europe must solve this issue by itself before a solution comes from USA.ICAO has identified officially the UMTS standard supported and promoted by EUROCONTROL as a candidate for the future ATM radio system.
The reuse of the UMTS standard, which has been a huge expense, in another application (ATM), is of great value to Europe. STAR will study and validate a secure, scalable, Wideband UMTS/3GPP communication system (avionics modem and ground communication infrastructure) for a future ATM system with provision for SATCOM link extension.
1). The Software Defined Radio (SDR) concept, which allows to handle various waveforms, is an innovative technological breakthrough that will for the first time allow to provide backward compatibility with legacy systems but also forward compatibility with future ones.
2) Adaptation of the UMTS protocols to air transmission constraints (Doppler,delays..) staying as close as possible of the UMTS standard.
1) In lab trials using channel simulators, traffic load generation and jamming
2) Through flight trials to confirm the lab tests results. STAR includes a detailed study on capacity increase and comparison with at least legacy VHF and other solutions if their results are open and available.
The STAR partners (including 4 SME at 22% of the budget) have specific complimentary skills making the consortium a full system provider. EUROCONTROL supporter of this ATM solution at ICAO will attend all the STAR meetings. The results will be shared with the relevant stakeholders, and the UMTS standard modifications needed for ATM transmission will be provided at standardisation level to facilitate the capacity of other European companies to implement it.
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