Aeronautical Communications



zum Bild NEWSKY

A main topic of the research group “Aeronautical Communications” is to develop future digital data link systems for aviation. In particular, new aeronautical communications systems for Air Traffic Control (ATC) and Air Traffic Management (ATM) are designed, evaluated, and prototyped in FPGA technology. The focus of these developments is on OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing) based multi-carrier multiple-access systems, like for example OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple-Access) or OFDM-TDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing Time-Division Multiple-Access).


Another main topic is to expedite the global networking of aeronautical data link systems to realize the DLR vision of “networking the sky”. The envisaged global aeronautical network covers not only ATC/ATM but also airline communications (Airline Operational Communication, AOC; Airline Administrative Communication, AAC) and communications for the cabin (Airline Passenger Communication, APC). The work within this topic comprises ad-hoc routing concepts as well as protocol design and validation for IP(v6) based aeronautical networks. Especially, design and optimization in the areas routing, mobility, and security are performed.

In addition, the research group acts as advisor of the BMVBW and the German ATC provider DFS within the Aeronautical Communications Panel (ACP) which is the standardization body of ICAO for aeronautical communications.

Current Research Topics

  • Development and validation of future digital data link systems for aviation
    • System design of OFDM based multi-carrier multiple-access system for communication between aircraft and ground station (en-route, TMA, airport) as well as for direct air/air communication between aircraft
    • Techniques for interference mitigation/suppression in OFDM receivers
    • Adaptation and optimization of OFDM receivers for application within the aeronautical environment
    • Robust multiple-access techniques and protocols for self-organizing aeronautical communications networks
    • Channel measurements and modeling of the aeronautical propagation channel
    • FPGA implementation of laboratory prototypes
  • Implementation of the DLR vision “networking the sky”
    • Adaptation of heterogeneous communications networks for application within the aeronautical environment
    • Mobility and handover assistance in heterogeneous aeronautical networks (mobile IP, IEEE 802.21)
    • Authentication in safety-related aeronautical networks (security protocols, public-key infrastructure)
    • Adaptation of self-organizing ad-hoc networks for application within the aeronautical environment
    • Scheduling, routing, and gateway-discovery techniques for aeronautical ad-hoc networks
    • Set-up and operation of an IP(v6) mobility test-bed

Dr.-Ing. Michael Schnell
German Aerospace Center

Institute of Communications and Navigation
, Communications Systems
Tel: +49 8153 28-2858

Fax: +49 8153 28-1871

URL for this article