2009 has already been a remarkable year for proponents of Voice over IP in Air Traffic Management (ATM) communications.
Half a decade has passed since EUROCAE Working Group 67 (WG-67) began developing standards for VoIP in ATM, and February 2009 saw the official release of three relevant specifications (ED-136 to ED-138). Through its research and development activities, Frequentis has contributed significantly to these documents. As the leading supplier of communication systems in ATM, Frequentis gave its full support to the ETSI Plugtest event held in Sofia Antipolis in March/April this year. The company participated in the test with the latest IP-based SW releases and HW components from its main voice communication product, the VCS 3020X. The Frequentis system successfully demonstrated its interoperability with other suppliers Voice Communication Systems (VCS) and Ground Radio Stations (GRS). Further Plugtests will follow this year with a focus on Ground/Ground gateway capabilities. Despite the significant amount of work already completed within EUROCAE WG-67, further research and testing still needs to be undertaken. Frequentis will participate in planned large-scale field trials in this important area, e.g. as part of the SESAR Joint Undertaking and in activities driven by several European Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) within the context of future Functional Airspace Blocks (FABs). The EUROCAE WG-67 documents should also ensure global interoperability of VoIP-based voice communication systems in ATM communications. Support for this goal is underpinned by current consultations between the main international standardisation bodies, such as Eurocontrol and ICAO. As a major contributor to the EUROCAE WG-67 specifications, Frequentis expects the migration towards IP-based communication systems to be based on these documents. The company also anticipates that ANSPs across the world will now begin step-by-step deployment of the appropriate solutions. The Frequentis policy is to build support for tomorrows standards in todays systems. This approach guarantees interoperability between systems, even during the worldwide system migration expected in the coming decade, where IP-based solutions replace current legacy networks. The policy also ensures future-proof ATM communication infrastructure and guarantees long-term investment protection for endusers.