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Technology demonstrator of a novel software defined radio-based aeronautical communications system

Cheng, Yongqiang; Xu, Kai; Hu, Yim Fun; Pillai, Prashant; Baddoo, Jim; Smith, Aleister; Ali, Muhammad; Pillai, Anju


Yongqiang Cheng

Kai Xu

Yim Fun Hu

Prashant Pillai

Jim Baddoo

Aleister Smith

Muhammad Ali

Anju Pillai


This study presents the architectural design, software implementation, the validation and flight trial results of an aeronautical communications system developed within the Seamless Aeronautical Networking through integration of Data links Radios and Antennas (SANDRA) project funded by the European 7th Framework Aeronautics and Transport Programme. Based on software defined radio (SDR) techniques, an integrated modular radio (IMR) platform was developed to accommodate several radio technologies. This can drastically reduce the size, weight and cost in avionics with respect to current radio systems implemented as standalone equipment. In addition, the modular approach ensures the possibility to dynamically reconfigure each radio element to operate on a specific type of radio link. A radio resource management (RRM) framework is developed in the IMR consisting of a communication manager for the resource allocation and management of the different radio links and a radio adaptation manager to ensure protocol convergence through IP. The IMR has been validated although flight trials held at Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany in June 2013. The results presented in the paper validate the flexibility and scalability of the IMR platform and demonstrate seamless service coverage across different airspace domains through interworking between the IMR and other components of the SANDRA network.


Cheng, Y., Xu, K., Hu, Y. F., Pillai, P., Baddoo, J., Smith, A., …Pillai, A. (2014). Technology demonstrator of a novel software defined radio-based aeronautical communications system. IET science, measurement & technology, 8(6), 370-379.

Acceptance Date Jul 22, 2014
Publication Date Nov 1, 2014
Deposit Date May 20, 2015
Publicly Available Date May 20, 2015
Journal IET science, measurement & technology
Print ISSN 1751-8822
Electronic ISSN 1751-8830
Publisher Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 6
Pages 370-379
Keywords Integrated modular radio; Integrated communications system; Aeronautical communications system; Software defined radio; Joint radio resource management; SANDRA demonstrator
Public URL
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Additional Information Author's accepted manuscript of article published in: IET science, measurement & technology, 2014, v.8, issue 6.


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