CAAS expands research collaboration efforts to deliver space-based VHF voice communications

13 March 2019

This technology will enhance aviation safety and enable more efficient use of airspace

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has signed a research collaboration agreement with Rohde & Schwarz to conduct a design study on the application and deployment of space-based Very High Frequency (VHF) voice communications for air traffic management (ATM) in the Singapore Flight Information Region. The agreement was signed by Mr Yeo Cheng Nam, Director (Aeronautical Telecommunications & Engineering), CAAS, and Mr Constantin Von Reden, Vice President (Market Segment ATC Secure Communications Division), Rohde & Schwarz, on the sidelines of the World Air Traffic Management Congress in Madrid.

This research collaboration study with Rohde & Schwarz is the second1 collaboration agreement on space-based VHF that CAAS is signing. It brings together strong complementary capabilities. As a leading air navigation services provider in the Asia Pacific, CAAS has decades of experience managing air traffic flows in one of the most complex airspace in the world. Rohde & Schwarz has not only been selling more than 30,000 Air Traffic Control Radios of its R&S®Series 4200 in more than 54 countries worldwide. The company has also been a trusted partner of some of the most respected air navigation service providers for complete communication system solutions.

As part of this collaboration, Rohde & Schwarz will conduct an in-depth analysis and study to develop a concept of operations and preliminary communications system designs. The collaboration study is also expected to deliver mitigation measures to overcome technical challenges associated with the implementation of space-based VHF voice communications.

“Space-based VHF voice communications2 represents the next level of ATM communications capability. This next phase of collaboration will bring us closer to making space-based VHF voice communications a reality. This technology will enhance safety and facilitate the safe reduction in separation between aircraft, in airspace where ground-based VHF voice communications is currently not available. It will thereby increase ATM capacity and enable more efficient use of airspace,” said Mr Kevin Shum, Director-General, CAAS.

Mr Bosco Novak, Executive Vice President Secure Communications Division at Rohde & Schwarz, said, “We are proud having the opportunity to work together with CAAS on the future implementation of space-based VHF voice communications. It is exciting to be invited to develop new communication systems for smart air traffic control operations based on innovative architecture, advanced and trusted technology as well as efficient operations.”

1 The first research collaboration was signed among CAAS, ST Electronics Engineering Limited and GomSpace AS.

2 Space-based VHF voice communications involves the mounting of VHF radio communications equipment onto a constellation of low-altitude earth orbit satellites to enable clear and real-time communications between air traffic controllers and pilots over oceanic airspace. VHF voice communications is currently not available over some parts of the South China Sea, due to the difficulty of siting ground-based equipment. Space-based VHF voice communications can surmount such limitations.

About the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS)
The mission of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) is to grow a safe, vibrant air hub and civil aviation system, making a key contribution to Singapore's success.  CAAS' roles are to oversee and promote safety in the aviation industry, develop the air hub and aviation industry, provide air navigation services, provide aviation training for human resource development, and contribute to the development of international civil aviation.

About Rohde & Schwarz

The Rohde & Schwarz technology group develops, produces and markets innovative communications, information and security products for professional users. The group's test and measurement, broadcast and media, aerospace | defense | security, networks and cybersecurity business fields address many different industry and government-sector market segments. On June 30, 2018, Rohde & Schwarz had approximately 11,500 employees. The independent group achieved a net revenue of approximately EUR 2 billion in the 2017/2018 fiscal year (July to June). The company has its headquarters in Munich, Germany. Internationally, it has subsidiaries in more than 70 countries, with regional hubs in Asia and America.

For more information, please contact:

CAAS
Satwinder Kaur
Deputy Director (Corporate Communications)
Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
Tel: +65 6541 2912
Email: satwinder_kaur@caas.gov.sg

Rohde & Schwarz
Susann Naumann
Corporate Communications & PR
Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG
Tel: +49-89 4129- 11747
Email: press@rohde-schwarz.com

Last Updated on 15 July 2019