How a commercial 3G system has been adapted for in flight communications. With air traffic across Europe at an all-time high, the aviation industry is running short of communications spectrum and on-board security has presented additional challenges. To help find solutions......

the European Commission and Eurocontrol, the organisation in charge of European air navigation, have explored the potential of using 3G wideband technology for secure communications. In particular, Eurocontrol has been looking at 3G as a potential solution for Air Traffic Management (ATM) security.

One option was to provide a high capacity air-ground downlink to support the transmission of encrypted voice, flight data and onboard video. This could be transmitted from the cockpit during a security alert, providing ground based decision makers with a clearer picture of the situation onboard the plane.

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