Czech air navigation service provider opts for virtual-center-capable IP communications solution from Rohde & Schwarz

Posted on: September 17, 2014

Rohde & Schwarz has received the exclusive contract to upgrade the radio and voice communications systems used for air traffic control at three regional airports in the Czech Republic. Air Navigation Services of the Czech Republic (ANS CR) has commissioned Rohde & Schwarz to implement a fully IP-based voice communications solution. The focus is on sharing communications resources between airports in a failsafe, flexible manner by implementing a virtual control center functionality that spans multiple locations.

For upgrading its air-ground and ground-ground communications systems at three regional airports, the Czech air navigation service provider opted for a future-ready Rohde & Schwarz solution. The contract was awarded following a public invitation to tender. It covers the countrywide installation of transmitter/ receiver systems – based on the R&S Series4200 family of VHF/UHF radios – at 18 radio sites. At the same time, the three regional airports in Karlovy Vary, Brno and Ostrava will be equipped with the fully IP-based R&S VCS-4G voice communications system (VCS).

It is a groundbreaking decision for the Czech air traffic control authority to transfer air traffic control communications to an entirely IP-based system. At the signing of the contract, Jan Klas, who is Director General of ANS CR, was confident that Rohde & Schwarz is the right partner: “We’re happy that we can continue our successful cooperation with Rohde & Schwarz. We’ll be getting the most state-of-the-art technology in a highly advanced system solution.”

The virtual center capabilities of the R&S VCS-4G enable ANS CR to benefit from a variety of different operational modes. For example, in the event of a disaster, communications resources can be dynamically reassigned to radio sites that are not affected to maintain operations. It is also possible to consolidate operations between airports to increase operational flexibility and optimize efficiency. In addition to classic voice communications systems, the R&S VCS-4G allows data applications of different types to be integrated as well. For example, video pictures, weather data or alarm functions can be displayed directly on the air traffic controller’s console. This additional information helps controllers make an overall assessment of the situation and quickly respond to changes.

Communications between the controller working positions and the radios at the radio sites will be based on voice over IP (VoIP) technology in line with the EUROCAE ED 137B standard. In air traffic control, this communications technology is gradually replacing obsolete TDM-based systems. The combination of the R&S VCS-4G and the R&S Series4200 is the only of its kind on the market, allowing Rohde & Schwarz to offer fully integrated IP-based single-source system solutions for voice services from the controller working position to the radio.

The well-established R&S Series4200 VHF/UHF radios offer safe, reliable communications. Rohde & Schwarz meets the high standard of ongoing innovation here as well thanks to the new detection of simultaneous transmissions (DSiT) functionality, which can also be integrated economically into the radios at a future date. In the case of multiple, parallel radio transmissions, DSiT allows even the weaker signal to be identified. This event is signaled to the air traffic controller via the VCS, eliminating safety-critical situations in air traffic control.

Rohde & Schwarz will present its tried and tested as well as innovative solutions for the future of ATC at ATC Global 2014 in Beijing. You can visit us at the China National Convention Center (CNCC), booth A728.