Inside the Institute for Communications and Navigations, two separate groups are contributing to MINERVAA: The Optical Communications Group inside the Digital Networks Section as well as the Antenna Group of section Navigation.
MINERVAA aims to be a fundamental step on the roadmap to the implementation of future aeronautical broadband networks. These Networks will enable High-Data-Rate Services for Aircraft passengers, like In-Flight-Entertainment such as Video-On-Demand or High-Speed Internet Connections. Besides that, flight-relevant information with high amounts of data, e.g. high-resolution weather maps, could be made available for airplane-captains and -crews.
MINERVAA applied the paradigm “bringing the technologies from the lab to the aircraft”. The project validated in flight the Outside-aircraft optical link technology and, on a fully representative aircraft mock-up, several Inside-aircraft optical link specific applications. The project also further developed at a larger extent the basic research on Ka-band avionic phased-array antennas, already carried out in ATENAA.
The Institute for Communication and Navigation will contribute to MINERVAA with developments and evaluations for the Outer-Optical-Link-System as well as for the Ka-band avionic phased-array antennas.
The strategic aim within MINERVAA was to build up a data link terminal to be installed within airliners and used within the ATENAA network concept for the provision of new onboard broadband communications services (time scenario 2010-2015+).
For this technology to be practically viable for civil aircraft installation, the following constraints were taken into account:
A Technology Demonstrator was developed; this included the following tasks:
All the Development Tasks were concluded by flight-tests. These were carried out with an experimental plane of the DLR at the airport in Oberpfaffenhofen, southwest of Munich.
During the Trials, an optical communication link between the plane and Optical Ground Station Oberpfaffenhofen (OGS) was shown. A high-quality HDTV-Video Stream was transmitted from the aircraft via the optical link.
DLR’s Optical Ground Station in Oberpfaffenhofen
The Optical Communications Group inside the Digital Networks Section contributed within all parts of the development process for the Outer-Optical Link Validation System.
The major parts are:
Contact: Dr. Dirk Giggenbach
Ka-band avionic phased-array antennas
Contact: Dr. Achim Dreher
MINERVAA is funded by the sixth framework programme of the European Commission. The Consortium consists of the following Companies and Research Institutes:
Selex Communcations (Prime Contractor) – www.selex-comms.com
DLR – German Aerospace Center – www.dlr.de
EADS Innovation Works – www.eads.com
Insis Spa – www.insis.it
SAGEM Défense Sécurité – www.sagem-ds.com
Technological Educational Institute of Piraeus (now University of West Attica)– www.uniwa.gr/en
Thales Communications – www.thalescomminc.com
MINERVAA Webpage: www.minervaa.org
ATENAA Webpage: www.atenaa.org (Predecessing Project)
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