Air/ground communications are critical for achieving an ATM system that is
capable of meeting air traffic demands in the future. Today’s narrowband VHF
technologies are using the VHF spectrum allocated for aeronautical safety
communications in a highly inefficient manner. Spectrum efficiency could be
improved by using broadband communications. The B-VHF project will investigate
the feasibility of broadband multi-carrier (MC) technology combined with CDMA
(Code Division Multiple Access) for VHF aeronautical communications.
The high-level goal of the B-VHF project is to prove the feasibility of the
broadband MC-CDMA technology and demonstrate the benefits of this technology to
the aeronautical community.
Additionally, the project will demonstrate that the B-VHF system has the
capability to support an increased number of users within the same VHF spectrum
while providing higher aggregate channel throughput than the sum of legacy
systems occupying the same spectrum.
MC-CDMA technology can be easily adapted to various user needs and usage
scenarios, providing various types of communications services to users’
applications with different service attributes and quality of service
The preferred B-VHF deployment concept anticipates that the new system would
be initially operated in parallel with the legacy narrowband VHF systems in a
given area (overlay concept), virtually using the same part of the VHF spectrum
without inter-system interference and without requiring additional spectral
The following two figures depict the current situation in the VHF COM band and the resulting VHF band occupancy, reflecting the co-existence of the B-VHF system with the legacy VHF systems.
Description of the work
Th tasks required to achieve these objectives are encapsulated into four
separate Work Packages:
Work Package 0 Project Management and Quality Assurance: comprises activities
that are essential to all Work Packages. It covers all management activities
within the consortium and in particular the liaison with the European
Work Package 1 B-VHF System Aspects: produces high-level requirements for the
B-VHF system, describes the reference aeronautical environment used in
simulations of the B-VHF system, as well as the B-VHF Operational Concept. Work
Package 1 will be closed after producing the B-VHF Deployment Scenario document.
It will address technological, operational and institutional issues of the B-VHF
initial deployment, transition and operational usage.
Work Package 2 VHF Band Compatibility Aspects: addresses the theoretical and
practical assessment of probably the most critical aspect of the future B-VHF
broadband system: its capability to be installed and operated, ‘interweaved’
with a number of legacy narrowband systems, sharing the same part of the VHF
spectrum, but remaining robust against interference coming from such legacy
narrowband VHF systems.
Work Package 3 B-VHF Design and Evaluation: covers B-VHF system detailed
design tasks, starting with developing the model of the broadband VHF channel
and proceeding with the development of the software representing the physical
B-VHF layer, DLL (Dynamic Link Library) layer, higher protocol layers and
representative aeronautical applications for the subsequent performance
Work Package 4 B-VHF Test bed: covers the base band implementation and
evaluation of a test bed for both the forward and reverse B-VHF link. The
implementation is restricted to the physical layer, which is the most critical
part in the B-VHF system.
The B-VHF system is expected to provide additional communications capacity by
re-using the existing VHF COM spectrum, but without interference from legacy
narrowband systems. The transition aspects shall be substantially easier than
for any other known alternative. Spectrally efficient broadband B-VHF technology
will provide capacity and performance for today’s and future operational
services and remove today’s argument that the aeronautical spectrum is used in a
very inefficient way.
The following two figures depict the current situation in the VHF COM band
and the resulting VHF band occupancy, reflecting the co-existence of the B-VHF
system with the legacy VHF systems.
|Instrument:||Specific Targeted Research Project|
|Total Cost:||€2 913 939|
|EU Contribution:||€1 840 172|
|Spittelbreitengasse 34, |
|Tel: +43 1 81150 3249|
|Fax: +43 1 81150 1219|
|EC officer :||Jean-Luc Marchand|
|Tel: +32 2 298 6619|
|Fax: +32 2 296 6757|
|Frequentis Nachrichtentechnik GmbH
|Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. (DLR)
|NATS (En Route) plc
|Deutsche Lufthansa A.G.
|BAE SYSTEMS (Operations) Ltd.
|Scientific Generics Ltd.
|Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
|Paris Lodron Universität Salzburg
|DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH
|Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria