CGI has been awarded a contract by Inmarsat to support the second phase of its Iris air traffic modernisation programme with the European Space Agency (ESA), which will include important flight trials across Europe to assess the ground-breaking service in a real operational environment.
Iris is being developed to deliver powerful benefits to European aviation by enabling high bandwidth, cost-effective satellite-based datalink communications across Europe. The programme contributes to the delivery of the ‘Single European Sky’ (SESAR), which focuses on modernising air traffic management and air navigation efficiency. Satellite communications reduce the pressure on ground-based frequencies and Iris is also an important contributor to reducing the environmental impact of aviation and meeting CO2 emissions goals.
As part of the programme’s second phase, around 20 aircraft flying commercially, once normal traffic levels start to resume, will trial Iris, allowing it to be assessed in a real operational environment. CGI will continue to support the specialised security gateway developed as part of its first phase contract and further enhance routing between existing radio communications and Iris technology, operating on Inmarsat’s satcom network. Also in this phase, CGI will design the full operational capability, which includes developing the Iris system to support Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems or drones. CGI will also support the design and system safety functions.