Abstract: The European Union is moving towards implementation of the Single European Sky policy, which is supported by the Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Programme for implementing a new Air Traffic Management (ATM) administrative, operational and technical concept. In coordination with the European Commission, EUROCONTROL, Air Navigation Service Providers and the SESAR consortium, “Iris” is the European Space Agency's initiative on the use of a satellite system for ATM air/ground communications. The Iris Programme aims to develop satellite communications for exchanges between aircraft and flight control centres, complementing existing and future systems in support of the growth in worldwide air traffic operations. This paper presents ESA's rationale for initiating a new programme line dedicated to ATM communications under the umbrella of the Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) programme, its objectives, and the workplan of activities of the Phase 1 of the Iris Programme.
Keywords: Aeronautical mobile system, air traffic control, air traffic management, airspace, telecommunication, civil aviation, aircraft communication, satellite communication, data links, DVB-S2