Iris flight trials for safer air traffic

Iris’s objective is to make aviation more efficient through a new satellite-based air–ground communication system for Air Traffic Management.

Iris is a partnership between ESA and Inmarsat that provides the satellite technology for the so-called Single European Sky ATM Research programme, which aims at boostingthe safety, capacity and performance of Air Traffic Management worldwide.

Currently, aircraft are tracked by radar when over land and in coastal areas, and flight paths are negotiated by radio. However,due to the expected substantial increase in air traffic in Europe, the radio frequencies currently used for ATM communications will be under significant capacity stress in the next 5-10 years.

Iris will relieve pressure on these ground-based radio frequencies by supplementing them with satellite data links, andallowingaircraft trajectories to be optimized with regard to longitude, latitude, altitude and time. This means less cancellations and delays, and flights that are more cost-effective and fuel-efficient.

★ Subscribe:

Check out our full video catalog:
Follow ESA on Twitter:
On Facebook:
On Instagram:
On Flickr:

ESA is Europe’s gateway to space. Our mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. Check out to get up to speed on everything space related.

Copyright information about our videos is available here:

Iris: satcom for aviation

Iris will provide a safe and secure text-based data link between pilots and air traffic control (ATC) networks using satellite technology.

The programme is developed under a public-private partnership between ESA and Inmarsat, and will help relieve pressure on the aviation sector’s congested radio frequency communication channels.

It will so as part of the European Commission’s Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) masterplan to modernise Europe’s air traffic management.

★ Subscribe:

Completing the constellation

On 25 July 4 Europe’s next four Galileo satellites will be launched into orbit by Ariane 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana.
With this launch the Galileo constellation will reach 26 satellites in space, completing the constellation in overall numbers although further launches are needed to place back-up satellites in orbit.
The launch comes at a time when Galileo is into its second year of Initial Operations, with a signal that is better than expected and that is now usable in all new mobile phones.
This video looks at Galileo’s story so far and the way forward, interviewing Paul Verhoef, ESA Director of Navigation, and Valter Alpe, Galileo’s Satellite Production and Launch Campaign Manager.

★ Subscribe:

Learn more about Galileo:

Galileo: from GIOVE to constellation

On 25 July, with the launch of four more satellites from Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, Europe’s Galileo constellation will come a giant leap nearer completion.
Since the launch of the ‘Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element’ test satellites GIOVE-A in 2005 and GIOVE-B in 2008 – with the task of securing radio bands and testing key technologies – ESA and Galileo have come a long way.
The deployment of the constellation and Galileo’s ground segment have been a massive undertaking. Talking to Paul Verhoef, Director of Navigation, we look back and consider the remarkable progress that has been made by Europe in satellite navigation and look towards the future and what it might hold.

★ Subscribe:

Learn more about Galileo: