Those who work in air traffic management know the complexities and challenges involved in ensuring the safe and efficient journeys of tens of millions of flights each year.

For three decades, L3Harris has been entrusted with the safety of the flying public whether through voice communications, telecommunications infrastructure, or real time precision situational awareness in the U.S. National Airspace. Jim Uhing, principal fellow at L3Harris, describes his 30-year tenure at the company: “What we do today directly impacts people; my work matters directly to people taking flights every day, like my wife and children.” L3Harris’ innovators, like Uhing, are advancing their approach as the demands of modern air traffic management require increasingly complex strategies to achieve the industry’s shared mission of safe and efficient travel.

Today’s air traffic management systems are facing a range of new vulnerabilities and challenges, including exposure to private and public operators and cybersecurity concerns. As international air space becomes more complex, including rising numbers of global air passengers, advanced network systems, and heightened cyber security risks have made transforming air traffic management ever more critical. Effective modernization – driven by technical innovation, public and private partnerships and shared security priorities – need to be implemented while simultaneously operating the airspace without disruption – akin to swapping out an aircraft engine while in flight. Only a balance of innovation and security can safely usher in the future of ATM systems that improve secure, efficient travel.

“We have to introduce new technologies at the speed of safety,” says Uhing. “There are many exciting technologies that have not been brought to bear in the air traffic domain because of safety critical needs. L3Harris has created an intelligent, yet resilient network leveraging IR&D investments centered on software-defined networking, enterprise information management and data analytics, machine learning, cloud computing, enterprise surveillance management and more.”

By recognizing modern challenges, partnering with organizations across the globe, and building systems specific to customers’ mission with the next generation of technology, L3Harris is achieving its objective: actualizing modernization that creates safer, more resilient air traffic management.