The THAUMAS initiative (Tailored and Harmonised satcom for ATM Uses, Maximising re-use of Aero SwiftBroadband) has been defined in line with the Artes 10 objectives. Starting from the well proven SwiftBroadband technology, the project will define and validate the upgrades needed to offer ATM services. The resulting system, called SB-S (SwiftBroadband-Safety) will be designed for compliance with stringent services and applications defined in the frame of the SESAR programme.
The THAUMAS project has been defined with the following key objectives:
- To derive a satellite communications solution that complies with the stringent ATM expectations identified in the frame of the SESAR programme,
- To build on Inmarsat’s heritage in the provision of aeronautical safety services,
- To take advantage of the powerful and spectrally-efficient Inmarsat-4 and Alphasat satellites to enable low-cost avionics and service charges.
Inmarsat was the first civil operator to introduce satellite communications services for the aeronautical industry, with the launch of its first aeronautical service in the early 1990s. Today, more than 10,000 aircraft in the air transport, business aviation and government sectors rely on its in-flight voice and data connectivity Inmarsat is currently the principal satellite operator providing global aeronautical safety services that comply with the safety requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
Inmarsat's latest generation aeronautical system, SwiftBroadband, which was developed in cooperation with ESA, offers the potential to support both Oceanic Safety services, and with further modification to satisfy the performance requirements demanded in Continental Airspace. Within Iris, the THAUMAS team will research modifications to the system in order to meet the more stringent latency and reliability requirements, and to enable new, smaller, low-cost avionics.
As a result THAUMAS will define and start the validation of the upgrades to SwiftBroadband required to achieve Continental Safety Services as a complement to the future terrestrial ATM services being developed by the SESAR programme. In particular, system design activities will be based on concept of operation known as dual-link (satcom and terrestrial L-DACS), where datalink messages are sent via both paths to increase reliability and availability.
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