When a project needs to establish new technology standards for the next generation of ATM, there is only one company to turn to. Frequentis has confirmed its position as ATM technology leader by winning the contract to supply the new N-VCS voice communication system for DSNA and EUROCONTROL. A further major milestone was reached in May 2015, when the N-VCS project successfully passed factory acceptance.
The objective of the Functional Airspace Block Europe Central (FABEC) programme is to implement multinational management of the airspace of six countries: Germany, Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland. As part of the FABEC N-VCS contract, and in close co-operation with its project partners French DSNA (Direction des Services La Navigation Aérienne) and EUROCONTROL (Maastricht Upper Area Control Centre, MUAC), two of Europe’s leading ANSPs, Frequentis has deployed the next-generation, industry-leading, fully end-to-end IP VCS3020X. The Frequentis VCS3020X is the leading end-to-end IP communication solution for Air Traffic Management globally. Its robust and proven architecture provides unrivalled scalability and functionality, and its wide array of workload-sharing and networking capabilities makes it a critical element for any successful implementation of dynamic sectorisation of virtual air traffic control centres.
In April 2015, the N-VCS project successfully passed its factory acceptance test (FAT) and proved not only its functional maturity, but also demonstrated the highest performance and reliability in terms of lowest signalling delay, fastest response times, stability, peak‑load operation and failure‑mode handling. All of this was accomplished on a setup with multiple systems comprising 250 controller working positions, nearly 600 IP radio channels, a full set of operational configuration data and real-life mission scenarios. In addition to its resource-sharing and sector delegation capabilities, the technical highlights of the FABEC N-VCS include full ED-137B compliance, network failover times of less than 10 milliseconds, state-of-the-art integrated dynamic delay compensation, virtualised management subsystems, fast-release deployment, and integrated IP network management. With this major milestone the project enters its next phase: onsite installation and validation activities for EUROCONTROL MUAC. Also, the completion of the FAT marks a major step towards successful safety certification of the N-VCS system in accordance with the strict ED-153 SWAL 3 software assurance objectives. As one of the first large‑scale projects in the VCS domain to pursue these objectives, the project will set an example for similar projects in the future.
Mr. Jac Jansen, Director of MUAC, comments: “The MUAC airspace is one of the densest and most complex areas of the globe. In order to maintain our high safety and performance levels, we must rely on a robust technology base. This factory acceptance is a very important milestone in our strategic ambition of deploying the most advanced systems and concepts to sustain performance and cope with future challenges.”
Mr. Maurice Georges, CEO at DSNA, says: “DSNA is proud to be a partner in the design and implementation of NVCS. It supports our aim for excellence, as it provides a highly reliable system, fulfilling the most demanding safety criteria. Furthermore, it will enable new strategic ATM development, such as dynamic airspace sectorisation”.
Hannu Juurakko, Vice President Air Traffic Management Civil at Frequentis, states “Within the N-VCS project we have proven our expertise in cross-national programmes and our ability to meet the most demanding technology challenges and set new standards within the ATM industry. By passing factory acceptance, DSNA EUROCONTROL and Frequentis jointly reached a vital milestone in the FABEC N-VCS programme”. He continues, “The FABEC N-VCS programme incorporates a number of technological innovations designed to address the ever-more complex and demanding operational needs for flexibility, efficiency and safety of today’s and tomorrow’s airspaces. N-VCS provides first-of-its-kind, modern air traffic service based on FABEC specifications at affordable cost.”