Interoperable Voice Communications Systems for Air Traffic Control

Interoperable Voice Communications Systems for Air Traffic Control

Supporting Any Radio Anywhere
Mar 11, 2019

Voice communications systems (VCS) are the lifeline between air traffic control (ATC) and pilots. With tens of millions of flights scheduled each year, communications must work seamlessly and must be maintained across all devices during all phases of flight, including when an aircraft pushes off from the gate.

Over the last two decades, the number of radios and other voice systems that can communicate with aviation stakeholders has risen exponentially but, in many cases, their interoperability has not. Some are unable to communicate with each other due to compatibility and hardware issues.  Interoperable voice systems are critical to delivering continuous communications for operational efficiency and safety during all phases of flight.

With new challenges comes new technology. ATC communications have begun to shift from analog systems to combined voice and data services through use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP). With the power of an IP network behind them, the new generation of VCS must maintain rigorous standards to ensure safe, efficient communications across an air traffic network.

These rigorous standards, called "ED requirements," maintain minimum requirements for voice communications systems to meet air traffic system operational requirements. Specifically, ED-137 requires VOIP VCS solutions to connect to multiple radios in many different modes.

Harris’ Voice Over Internet Protocol Communications Enterprise (VOICE) ATM is an ED-137 certified solution that can communicate with any radio anywhere.

VOICE ATM is a unique system that can connect to any type of radio and maintain reliable communications. It communicates with both air-ground and ground-ground systems with quality voice communications built on top of a safe IP network backbone to minimize the risk of radio cutout. Additional operator stations and radios can be added to VOICE to maximize site management up to hundreds of positions. The solution supports a wide variety of workstations and communications devices and eliminates the need for multiple stove-piped solutions to handle different types of hardware.

Today’s air traffic communications environment is complex. With growing demands, there is a growing need for interoperable technologies, especially when it comes to VCS. As new mission requirements arise, Harris will continue to provide the solutions needed for air navigation service providers (ANSPs) to safely govern air traffic in their regions and beyond.