I am trying to get informed about Autonomous Air Traffic Control. Communication is crucial in this field. I am aware that different possibilities exist to realize it, for example:

  1. an ad-hoc network for aircraft-to-aircraft communication
  2. an infrastructure-based communication system

of course infrastructure-based communication systems (meaning a geostationary satellite) include a high propagation delay.

Anyways, I am thinking about a good solution for this problem and am currently looking for research papers in this field. I figured, maybe someone here knows some good sources already?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ what aircraft types are you referring to? For small quadcopter swarms, you'll find ad hoc networks, and if you're flying a Boeing 747 over the ocean, where you can't have infrastracture on the ground, half a second of plane-satellite-plane latency hardly matters at all, since you'd simply place planes far enough apart. $\endgroup$ Jan 5, 2018 at 11:46
  • $\begingroup$ for aircraft to aircraft communication, you should read this question $\endgroup$
    – Manu H
    Jan 5, 2018 at 12:36
  • $\begingroup$ TCAS seems to be really ad hoc :-) $\endgroup$
    – user7241
    Jan 5, 2018 at 17:30

1 Answer 1


Do you mean air to air? Or were you thinking of a ground system? What sort of traffic density?

If the former there are a number of concepts within the big medernisation programs like US NextGen, EU SESAR, Australian OneSky or Japan's CARATS programs.

ICAO has a global roadmap running to 2040.

VHF datalink mode 2 is up and running now, higher bandwidth satcom comming (Inmarsat SB-S/ Iris). VOIP likely to have some interesting latency effects in airspaces eith high R/T loads.

Significant global safety spectrum, ITU, regulatory, standardisation and other institutional and political challenges stand before a cool tech idea.

For spectrum look within current band allocations.

Aviation is generally incremental. Bear in mind thst your tech needs to be robust, globally portable.

If you can develop a regulstir accepted method to assure AI or ML apps then this would be a fertlle and lucrative area.


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