Rohde & Schwarz selected to provide communications system for UK's first all-digital control tower

CRANFIELD, England -- Cranfield University has selected Rohde & Schwarz to provide an IP-based voice communications system (VCS) in what it says will be the United Kingdom's first digital control tower.

Aug 8th, 2018
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CRANFIELD, England -- Cranfield University has selected Rohde & Schwarz to provide an IP-based voice communications system (VCS) in what it says will be the United Kingdom's first digital control tower.

The digital control tower, to be installed at the Cranfield Airport operated by the university, will replicate the views of a traditional air traffic control tower using live feeds of the airfield streamed through high-definition cameras and sensors.

As part of the project, Rohde & Schwarz will supply and install four controller working positions that will use its R&S VCS-4G system, which provides voice, video and data communications services.

The company said the system will integrate and interface with existing analogue radio and telephone systems, making the VCS a central platform within the new digital control tower.

"Digital control towers are the future for airports and we are excited and delighted that the R&S VCS-4G has been chosen for this pioneering project," said Constantin von Reden, vice president of Rohde & Schwarz's air traffic control group.

The new tower will also support Cranfield University's role in a number of other projects, including the Aerosapce Integration Research Centre (AIRC) and Digital Aviation Research and Technology Centre (DARTeC).

Rohde & Schwarz said its system supports SIP, RTP and R2S protocols per EUROCAE WG67 ED standard specifications. The infrastructure is also designed to be easily scalable without replacing existing equipment.

The company said it expects the digital control tower to go live in December.

Intelligent Aerospace reported Rohde & Schwarz had been selected to supply a similar system for the Airways Corp. of New Zealand in July.

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