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AVIATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

ST Electronics to test satellite-based communications for planes

It signed an agreement with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Singapore Technologies Electronics Limited (ST Electronics), and space company GomSpace will collaborate on a study of satellite-based communications for planes.

According to a press release, the study will test the implementation of space-based Very High Frequency (VHF) communications for air traffic management (ATM) in the Singapore Flight Information Region (FIR).

The space-based VHF communications system involves the mounting of VHF equipment onto a constellation of small low-earth-orbit satellites to enable clear and real-time communications between air traffic controllers and pilots over oceanic airspace.

This technology will improve safety and facilitate the safe reduction in separation between aircraft, from the current 80 nautical miles (NM) to potentially 5NM, in airspace where ground-based VHF communications are currently not available, increasing ATM capacity and enabling more efficient use of airspace.

The implementation of space-based VHF communications in the Singapore FIR will go through a design study phase, a proof of concept phase, and finally an operationalisation phase.

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