LDACS (L-band Digital Aeronautical Communications System), a new air-to-ground communications standard for air traffic communications enables a connection between aircraft and the terrestrial infrastructure, similarly to cellular telephony. Rohde & Schwarz is one of the few manufacturers that is deeply involved in the implementation of both ground and airborne LDACS equipment. Here, the independent company is able to ensure interoperability in ground-based and air communications, better than any vendor.

LDACS allows modern IP-based datalink communications, a cornerstone technology within the Future Communications Infrastructure (FCI) for aviation. It is being standardized by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and first flight tests with Rohde & Schwarz demonstrators have successfully validated its capabilities.

Large amounts of data can be exchanged in real time, like flight trajectories or flight plans. This will ultimately enable new ATC concepts like the upcoming four-dimensional (4D) trajectories and sectorless flying, both of which bring the operational benefit of optimal routing and lower fuel usage, which ultimately reduce emissions of CO2 and therefore the impact on climate change.

Rohde & Schwarz, with its decades of experience in VHF, UHF and HF communications, which are used by aircraft pilots as well as air traffic controllers, is best placed to drive the future of LDACS. At WATMC in Madrid, the company unveils its strategy for LDACS and shares a progress update on the technology.