Affiliations: NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH 44135, USA Tel.: +1 216 433 3434; Fax: +1 216 433 8705; E‐mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Communications systems have always been a critical element in aviation. Until recently, nearly all communications between the ground and aircraft have been based on analog voice technology. But the future of global aviation requires a more sophisticated ‘information infrastructure’ which not only provides more and better communications, but integrates the key information functions (communications, navigation and surveillance) into a modern, network‐based infrastructure. Satellite communications will play an increasing role in providing information infrastructure solutions for aviation. Developing and adapting satellite communications technologies for aviation use is now receiving increased attention as the urgency to develop information infrastructure solutions grows. The NASA Glenn Research Center is actively involved in research and development activities for aeronautical satellite communications, with a key emphasis on air traffic management communications needs. This paper describes the recent results and status of NASA Glenn's research program.