LDACS set to become the next global standard for ATC communications


The new L band digital aeronautical communications system (LDACS), a revolutionary air traffic control (ATC) communications system that greatly improves bandwidth and enables contemporary IP-based communications, has been developed by Rohde & Schwarz in collaboration with research partners. In order to become the next global standard, it is about to supersede the current VHF digital link (VDL) mode 2 in civil aviation.

Compared to VDL mode 2, LDACS provides data throughput that is up to 200 times quicker. Particular frequencies in the L band designated for flight communications are used by LDACS. In order to minimize out-of-band emissions and ensure trouble-free operation with other aircraft equipment operating in that band, it employs interference suppression algorithms.

Representative | Collins Aerospace

” Modern aviation demands the secure exchange of data. LDACS reliably enables high data throughput that is secured with encryption. It can support a wide variety of new applications, such as the data connections airlines need for flight crews to efficiently plan fleet operations “- Thomas Bögl, Director of Technology and Studies at Rohde & Schwarz, explains

The extremely simple road to a market launch is another advantage of LDACS. New environmentally friendly navigation techniques will also benefit from dependable and secure data transfer through LDACS. The idea is to choose air routes with exact three-dimensional coordinates and strict time constraints. Aircraft can be dynamically routed around airports using the 4D trajectory idea to avoid noise protection zones.

A program for aviation research called LuFo has been developed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action for LDACS. The programmer is Rohde & Schwarz. To advance LDACS technology, more project partners like the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are working together. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the working groups in the program are working together to develop and execute flight acceptability standards.

A technological foundation has been laid as part of the recently established LuFo project “Pave the Way to Digital Aeronautical Communications” (PaWaDACs), enabling the product development of LDACS ground equipment and LDACS aerial equipment beginning in 2025. The equipment is anticipated to go on sale in 2028. Rohde & Schwarz will have a competitive advantage over other LDACS suppliers due to its early involvement in the LuFo project.

Rohde & Schwarz

Beginning in early 2022, the PaWaDACs project has been in progress. It focuses on establishing a realistic test installation and miniaturizing equipment demonstrators at two locations run by the German air navigation service provider (DFS). Once finished, the essential technological foundation for future LDACS systems will be established. New civil aviation product development will have a strong foundation.

SOURCE: rohde-schwarz

COVER: European Defence Agency