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CATEC develops a delay-tolerant network protocol for the communication between aircrafts in the Single European Sky


July 29th 2011

Together with Deimos, AWD and the Autónoma University of Barcelona, CATEC has started up an initiative of industrial research, PROSES: Network Protocol for the Single European Sky, which will allow expanding the capacity and the reliability of existing communications and enabling the integration of all users in the future single European airspace


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CATEC develops a delay-tolerant network protocol for the communication between aircrafts in the Single European Sky
Forty years ago, in 1969, the first connection between two computers took place, giving birth to what we nowadays call the Internet: a global network of interconnected computers, allowing users to share all kind of information. The same way that these two computers became million all over the world, the Internet nodes are no longer static to become dynamic objects: wireless mobile phones or portable PCs connected to a global network.

Such paradigm change can be observed in all stages of our society, so much so that Internet is evolving towards a future that will fill all the gaps, both on ground, in the air and in the space. The integration of both manned and unmanned air vehicles in the network is no longer Sci-Fi, but an emerging reality. Military systems integrate data links that will allow them to interact with communication nodes in distributed networks. Furthermore, the civil aviation is getting ready for a change in the current telecommunications scenario with the introduction and start up of the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR). SESAR foresees a massive use of data transmissions between aerial systems, ground systems and satellites. The aircrafts will act as any other node of this network.

In many circumstances, the integrity of the network or communications systems of the aircraft will not allow continuous point-to-point connections. Therefore, it is necessary to design new communication protocols allowing the exchange of information in degraded connection environments, which, on their turn, would be integrated in the Internet, that is to say, that would not need to be independently modeled but taking profit from the huge potentiality that means the experience of the Internet community. Such protocols will allow expanding the capacity and reliability of existing communications, and will enable the integration of all users in the future European single airspace. That is the purpose of the Center working on the industrial research initiative “PROSES”: Network Protocol for the Single European Sky. CATEC participates on this project -together with Deimos, AWD and the Autónoma University of Barcelona- to analyze, design and implement a delay-tolerant network protocol (DTN) for the communication between aircrafts, both manned and unmanned.



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