Leonardo has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Aireon, developer of the world’s first space-based air traffic surveillance system.
The MOU will allow Leonardo, which provides advanced Air Traffic Management (ATM) solutions for air navigation service providers (ANSP), to integrate space-based Automatic Dependent Broadcast (ADS-B) data into its ‘LeadInSky’ ATM system.
LeadInSky is Leonardo’s latest-generation Air Traffic Management (ATM) automation platform. It offers safer and more secure air traffic control via multi-level redundancies and disaster-recovery capabilities.
This delivers a high level of data-processing availability and maintains consistency through the multiple levels of redundancy. LeadInSky is also designed to offer a ‘seamless control capability’, merging data from a variety of sources to deliver a complete picture of air traffic, from the airport gates to when aircraft are en-route to their destinations.
By integrating space-based ADS-B data into the LeadInSky ATM platform, Leonardo will allow ANSPs to dynamically optimize flight routes and improve airspace management using the only global, real-time dataset of aircraft movements that covers ADS-B equipped aircraft.
“This agreement with Aireon will further enhance LeadInSky’s position as a leading automation platform for ANSPs,” said Davide Cioppi, Senior Vice President, Traffic Control Systems, Security and Information Systems division at Leonardo. “Space-based ADS-B data will be integrated seamlessly into LeadInSky ATM system and provide end-users with an unprecedented dataset that can be used to enhance safety and optimize operations throughout the ANSP. Leonardo is ready to support the introduction to space-based ADS-B data: with a global, real-time data set, this will change the aviation industry as we know it.”
Cyriel Kronenburg, vice president of aviation services, Aireon, said: “This MOU was created with our future ANSP customers in mind. The seamless integration of space-based ADS-B data into ATM automation platforms is pivotal for the deployment and use of space-based ADS-B worldwide. Leonardo will enable the Aireon data to flow into their platform as just another source of data, making training and deployment that much easier.”
The Aireon service will be operational by the end of 2018, shortly after the completion of the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation. In total, the constellation will consist of 66 operational low-Earth-orbit satellites providing global coverage with an additional nine orbiting spares and six ground spares.