Put links to the optimisation of the European airspace

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The European Space Agency and the London-based company Inmarsat move to the next phase of your project to improve the efficiency of European airspace.

The pair of Iris programme would see pilot flight aircraft route over a robust and secure data connections via satellite.

At the moment, the management includes the FM-radio-voice-messaging system, will likely soon reach its capacity limit.

Additional technologies are required to cope with the expected growth in air traffic in the coming decades.

Demand for cars is growing by more than 5% per year to most in the world, with the European market, the busiest.

Iris will now see a large-scale demonstration over the next 36 months will help to speed the transmission of messages between the Controller and the cockpit; and ultimately aims, the full 4D trajectory management.

“Flight routes are defined by latitude, longitude, altitude, and time – and aperture, because of its performance, allowing it to define us, these waypoints to plus or minus 2-3 seconds,” said captain Mary McMillan, vice president aviation safety and operational services at Inmarsat Aviation.

“With elastic and ubiquitous satellite-downlink-frequencies, the Controller and the aircraft have knowledge of the trust, that the planes be, be where you say you go at the prescribed time and that will allow us to put more airplanes in the air space and it is safe,” she told BBC News.

Iris was confined in a R&D phase for a number of years, with demonstrations on some small experimental flights.

The next phase, funded by a €42m contract from Esa, Inmarsat, the technology, and examined witnesses on a larger number of aircraft, equipped with the necessary equipment for communication.

The messages sent via Inmarsat L-band network of a telecommunications spacecraft, which sit high above the earth.

If all goes well, Iris would be available for a wide-scale launch in the 2020s.

Esa and Inmarsat have had to, in order to show that not only satellite connections, robust, and wide enough to have the digital message routing, but the system as a whole, hack.

“It has to be safe, but it also needs to be trustworthy and resilient, cyber-security,” says Carlo Elia head of Telecom technologies, products and systems at the Department of the space Agency.

Iris is a key element of the European Commission ” Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research programs, known as Sesar.

This is the development of a range of technologies to optimize the coordination of flights.

At the moment, thought it will be more than 40km is added to the average flight in Europe, because the routing is not optimal.

If this can be improved, there are obvious advantages for passengers shorter flight times and airline operators in reduced fuel consumption and pollutant emissions.

Iris is one of a number of public-private partnerships, the Esa is now running from his Telekom headquarters in Harwell, Oxfordshire.

“The Agency should always explore for the improvement of the competitiveness of the European satcom industry and the means to enlarge markets. Iris is a typical case,” says Carlo Elia.

“The other motivation for us is the clear social and environmental benefits is, of course, coming from a project like this,” he told BBC News.

As well as Inmarsat, more than 30 companies across Europe are working on Iris, including prime Partner CGI, the UK, and Thales Alenia Space, Italy.

Jonathan.Amos-INTERNET@bbc.co.uk and follow me on Twitter: @BBCAmos