Singapore Explores VHF Space-Based Air Traffic Management
Thursday, July 13, 2017 | Comments

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Singapore Technologies (ST) Electronics and GomSpace signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore the application and deployment of space-based VHF communications for air traffic management (ATM) in and around the Singapore Flight Information Region (FIR).

Space-based VHF communications represents the next level of communications capability and will complement Singapore's existing ground-based equipment, a statement said. VHF communications equipment is mounted onto a constellation of low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites to enable clear, cost-effective and real-time communications between air traffic controllers and pilots anywhere. The technology will improve safety and enable the safe reduction in separation between aircraft in airspace where ground-based VHF communications is not available, increasing ATM capacity and reducing delays for aircraft in turn.

This partnership brings together strong complementary capabilities. As the air navigation services provider for the Singapore FIR, CAAS has decades of experience managing air traffic flows. ST Electronics has more than 45 years of experience in the design, development and integration of advanced electronics and communications systems including real-time mission-critical command and control, air traffic management and simulation systems. GomSpace is a designer, integrator and manufacturer of high-end nanosatellites for customers in the academic, government and commercial markets.

"CAAS is committed to continually investing in cutting-edge and innovative solutions to ensure that we can safely support the growing air traffic in the region,” CAAS Director-General Kevin Shum said. “With this collaboration, Singapore will be the first country in the world to move towards space-based VHF communications. This technology will enable CAAS to improve traffic throughput in the Singapore FIR, while enhancing safety and efficiency of ATM.”

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