CORDIS - EU research results

Airborne new and advanced satellite techniques and technologies in a system integrated approach

Final Report Summary - ANASTASIA (Airborne new and Advanced satellite techniques amp technologies in a system integrated approach)

The project 'Airborne new and advanced satellite techniques amp technologies in a system integrated approach' (ANASTASIA) was basically a technology oriented research program, which aimed at defining the new on board satellite-based navigation and communication systems.
To this aims, a review of the future needs of the various airspace users was first performed. Then, a detailed analysis of the satellite-based navigation and communication potentialities has been performed, and validated by mockup and flight trials. It allows to transform the initial 'nice to have' list of needs into 'possible to achieve' requirements.
The output of the project was the definition of possible architectures for the future avionics beyond 2010, the recommended techniques, technologies and proposed evolutions to international standards. An important strategic impact of the project is to help position European aviation industry in these competitive and strategic new domains.

The project focused in three major areas:

Aircraft needs and requirements
The first objective was to identify the existing and future operational needs enabling new operational benefits and the existing and future requirements of the communication and navigation functions for both business jets and air transport aircraft, especially those which can be met by new coming satellite based technology.
As a corollary, the aircraft constraints and the required performance levels necessary to meet operational needs were explicated. They were separately identified as deriving from C, N or S needs.
Then, the objective was to derive new candidate architectures in navigation and communication, taking into account the new needs resulting from the change of ATM environment and the possible innovations brought by satellite based technology. Preliminary architectures were first derived independently for the navigation and the communication.
The definition, the integration and the standardisation aspects of the most suitable GNSS sensor with its antennas for either bizjets or commercial aircraft were studied.

Navigation space based technologies
The objective of this sub-project was to investigate the space based systems and to define the different techniques and technologies that must be implemented for an optimal use of new space based technologies in an on-board system. This enables the different objectives of a future navigation system to be achieved and to assess and demonstrate corresponding performances.

Communication space based technologies
The objectives of SP4 was to establish the requirements for an affordable aeronautical SATCOM system for ATM, to design, implement and demonstrate such a preliminary SATCOM system, and to prototype higher bandwidth services and systems for future a/c communication requirement.
Furthermore, the objectives were to design, implement and demonstrate a preliminary system development of an affordable aeronautical SATCOM system that would meet evolving European ATM requirements (such as using satellites to complement the congested VHF spectrum). The design would be based on the current or planned space segment and will have maximum synergy with existing and planned non-ATM aeronautical SATCOM systems.
Additionally, further objectives were to carry out research into higher bandwidth services, systems and airborne equipment to meet future SATCOM requirements for ATM. Due to the very high cost of satellite communication systems, the synergies with revenue-generating passenger use should also be considered in order to ensure a cost efficient approach.

Operational characterisation & evaluation
The operational characterisation as well as the evaluation of mock-up avionics were combined in one subproject (SP5). The activities of this subproject were mainly dedicated to validate the equipment and procedures having been developed in the frame of ANASTASIA.
Accordingly, there have been three major objectives: First to investigate specific environmental characteristics which may cause performance degradation of the navigation equipment; secondly to verify in a quasi-realistic environment behaviour and performance of the key navigation technologies; thirdly, subsequent to flight tests and simulations, to record and to analyse the test data to evaluate the different concepts realised in the navigation mock-up.
The pertinent work structure during the course of the project had to be changed due to external events (no tests for communications equipment, no sufficient number of Galileo satellites available for validation).

ANASTASIA brought significant results in defining user needs and constraints beyond 2010 anticipating SESAR program vision. It has also enhanced the knowledge and awareness of future satellite based technologies programs, their capacities and performance and their expected impact on aircraft, especially in terms of integration within existing or forthcoming architectures.
This results in the need to increase exchanges between satellite and user community, and help in the definition of future satellite systems promoted at European level by ESA, EC, and Eurocontrol.

ANASTASIA demonstrated the technical feasibility to implement a future multi-constellation GPS/SBAS/Galileo L1/E5 receiver with the development of the first antenna and receiver mock-ups compliant with Galileo MOPS requirements.
Flight test were performed with the antenna which, coupled with an on board real time recorder was used to record the interferences between GNSS and DME signals over the European hotspot.
The ANASTASIA mockup successfully received the signals from the first Galileo satellite (GIOV-A and Giov-B), together with the decoding of the standard GPS constellation
By 2015, the GPS/SBAS/Galileo Open Service L1/E5 signal in space should be available and associated standards should be available by then to enable use of such multi-constellation receivers on-board future aircraft. Then, by 2020, when using Galileo L1/E5 Safety-of- Life and GPS/SBAS L5 signal in space, a new revision of standards should be available.
Moreover, ANASTASIA have demonstrated that MEMS when used with standard hybridisation filters and a dual GPS antenna can provide performance improvement, especially when multi-constellation and multi-frequency signal in space will be available.

Various solutions have been identified, designed and analysed for future Satcom ATM, for the timeframes: Current, 2010-2020, and beyond 2020. This has been done at the system level, the payload level, and the avionics terminal level.
For the 2010-2020 timeframe, the Satcom Swiftbroadband system and its required upgrades have been designed and analysed in depth. A system and avionics terminal solution has been identified that meets the requirements. Along with Iridium and Iridium NEXT, these are the possible solutions for Satcom ATM for the timeframe 2010-2020.

Several technical investigations within ANASTASIA have shown that the interference threat on board the aircraft is present but should not be over-estimated. Particularly the coupling between Satcom and SATNAV antenna has to be considered but is strongly dependent on the individual geometry on the fuselage. Other onboard devices like weather radar or DME transmitter were assessed by their interfering potential and were found not to be critical for the future navigation equipment.
On the other hand, interference from ground-based locations is an important factor, particularly in the future E5 frequency band. ANASTASIA was able to develop necessary tools to investigate this effect, including simulation procedures, tools to sound the interference environment, and receiver mitigation techniques in time and frequency domain. All of these tools should be used in any future work, too.
The interference tools provide a means to investigate the effects both by simulation and by real data. Comparisons between either types were made in the project and results have shown that the Galileo receiver mockup is able to provide a navigation solution even when a large amount of interference from ground DME stations is present in the E5 frequency band.
It also could be demonstrated that the two mitigation routines for DME interferences work within the predicted limits. The usage of the mitigation algorithm in frequency domain (FDAF) provides slightly better performance than the algorithm in time domain.