Technology demonstrator of a novel software defined radio-based aeronautical communications system

Technology demonstrator of a novel software defined radio-based aeronautical communications system

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This study presents the architectural design, software implementation, the validation and flight trial results of an aeronautical communications system developed within the Seamless Aeronautical Networking through integration of Data links Radios and Antennas (SANDRA) project funded by the European 7th Framework Aeronautics and Transport Programme. Based on software defined radio (SDR) techniques, an integrated modular radio (IMR) platform was developed to accommodate several radio technologies. This can drastically reduce the size, weight and cost in avionics with respect to current radio systems implemented as standalone equipment. In addition, the modular approach ensures the possibility to dynamically reconfigure each radio element to operate on a specific type of radio link. A radio resource management (RRM) framework is developed in the IMR consisting of a communication manager for the resource allocation and management of the different radio links and a radio adaptation manager to ensure protocol convergence through IP. The IMR has been validated although flight trials held at Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany in June 2013. The results presented in the paper validate the flexibility and scalability of the IMR platform and demonstrate seamless service coverage across different airspace domains through interworking between the IMR and other components of the SANDRA network.


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