The Iris satellite communication system will be a multi-star type of network. Its main constituents are the space segment elements composed of one or more satellites, several fixed ground segment elements and several mobile user segment elements, namely the AES (Aircraft Earth Station) located at the satellite network edges.
Iris satellite communications system
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Even though at the beginning a centralised network architecture is foreseen, the system will be scalable to a distributed architecture, easily deployable, flexible and highly scalable to reach the worldwide coverage.
The ground segment comprises three network elements: the Network Management Centre (NMC), the Network Control Centre (NCC) and the Ground Earth Station (GES). The NMC is the network entity responsible for performing the overall management of the satellite communications system elements, defining frequency plans, establishing service policies and logging alarms and monitor information from the whole network entities (NCC, GES and AES), adopting an unified management mechanism inside the Pan-European Network (PEN).
The NCC is in charge of performing network control functions, which involves the generation of the network signalling information and the control of service policies defined by the NMC.
Finally, the GES is the network entity responsible for providing communication between the air traffic control centre (ATCC) and airline operational centre (AOC) and the aircrafts (AES) via satellite. For providing access to remote ATC/AOC, the GES will also interface with the terrestrial network.