ATM Modernization, Embedded Avionics

Harris to Provide Advanced ATM Communication System to NATS

By Juliet Van Wagenen | March 15, 2016
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Ed Sayadian, president, Harris Mission Networks, with Martin Rolfe, CEO, NATS
Ed Sayadian, president, Harris Mission Networks, with Martin Rolfe, CEO, NATS. Photo: NATS

[Avionics Today 03-15-2016] Harris will provide NATS, the U.K.’s Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), with its cloud-based Voice Communications System for the 21st Century (VCS21). The VCS21 system aims to modernize Air Traffic Management (ATM) programs by delivering net-centric voice communications that reduce dependency on traditional point-to-point communications, while supporting a transition to Internet Protocol (IP)-based communications.

Harris will install the system at three facilities in the U.K. The system will include more than 600 controller working positions that can access up to 2,000 radios across NATS control operations, according to the company.

The VCS21 system will be part of the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) project, a collaborative initiative to modernize European airspace and air traffic control. NATS plans to invest nearly $1 billion in new technologies over the next five years to enable SESAR and other future concepts. VCS21 is a major step in this program, providing networked voice capabilities that are more resilient and cost effective, and will enable dynamic rerouting of established flight sectors, more reliable contingency planning, and improved asset sharing that facilitates both flexible airspace use and future facility planning.

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