Airtel ATN announces strategic deal with Harris Corporation for Data Link test

- Dublin, Ireland.

Airtel ATN, dedicated to the development of communications software for the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN), announces that its test equipment will be used in the USA as part of the FAA’s Next Generation Air Transportation System programme (NextGen).

Harris Corporation has been contracted by the FAA to implement the Data Communications element of the NextGen Program. This is the implementation of a digital data exchange service between the cockpit and air traffic control. This will enable more air traffic to be handled and enhance safety all while reducing operational costs for airspace users.

Harris will use Airtel ATN’s Multi Test Platform (MTP) to ensure that the air to ground Data Link portion of Data Comm is operating as required. MTP is a ruggedised, portable Mobile VDL (VHF Data Link) test system. VDL is the network which supports the Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC).

“Airtel ATN’s test equipment is portable and will be used to test the signal strength at VDL ground stations,” said John O’ Sullivan, Vice President and DCIS Program Manager, Harris Corporation. “It will also be used to test network components and check the connection to the communications service provider networks.”

The NextGen Air Transportation System is being implemented in stages across the USA, with the Data Communications Tower elements expected to be operational beginning in 2016 and the Enroute elements expected to be operational by 2019.

“Harris and its partners will provide the terrestrial circuits and the very high frequency Data Links that connect ground-based air traffic controllers and flight crews,” said Frank O’Connor, CEO, Airtel ATN. “They will then use our MTP systems in America to ensure that these are operating correctly and to identify problems."

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