ATC with Rohde & Schwarz: IP based voice communications system certified for Chinese market

Posted on: January 30, 2015

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has approved the Rohde & Schwarz R&S VCS-4G for the Chinese market. The IP-based voice communications system serves as the core component for establishing virtual control centers to ensure flexible and failsafe air traffic control (ATC).

Rohde & Schwarz, the world’s first supplier of an IP-based voice communications system for ATC, can now offer its R&S VCS-4G on the Chinese market. To support its strong and rapidly growing air traffic sector, China will gain a technology for building and expanding its infrastructure for the future. The fully IP based system features a distributed and redundant architecture and meets the requirements of the international EUROCAE ED-137B standard. Its distributed system architecture and ability to form virtual civil ATC centers enable users to use communications resources efficiently.

In air traffic control, voice over IP (VoIP) is gradually replacing obsolete TDM-based systems. Aviation authorities around the world have already decided in favor of the R&S VCS 4G. Europe will soon have the first virtual control center operating across national borders. The aviation authorities in Iceland (ISAVIA) and Ireland (IAA) – which are responsible for ATC in the North Atlantic flight corridor – awarded Rohde & Schwarz an exclusive contract for the delivery of advanced R&S VCS-4G IP-based voice communications systems. Each site will be equipped with a VCS of its own, enabling it to be operated independently or collaboratively, allowing dynamic load and resource sharing. For example, to maintain operations in the event of a disaster, communications resources can be dynamically reassigned to unaffected radio sites. It is also possible to consolidate operations between control centers to increase operational flexibility and optimize efficiency.

In addition to classic voice communications, R&S VCS-4G IP integrates a wide variety of data applications. For example, video pictures of out-of-view airport areas and weather data 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.

The combination of the R&S VCS-4G, the R&S Series4200 family of VHF/UHF radios and the R&S RCMS II control and monitoring system is unique on the market, allowing Rohde & Schwarz to offer single-source IP-based system solutions for voice services, from the controller working position to the radio antenna.