Radio Stations for Air Traffic Control

You can find them today in many ATC stations at airport locations worldwide.

The participation of our team in the development of the ATC radio family project (Air Traffic Control) began in 2003. The client was a top-leading company in this segment and needed a redesign of its older model. The request was partly due to many legacy components and partly to the need for new interfaces and communication protocols.

Radio Stations for Air Traffic Control

Our Task and Challenge

Contribute to the development of a modern ATC transceiver with excellent performance data.

The development team had the task of developing an Air Traffic Control transceiver for ground-based use with an output power of 50 W. At the end of the design phase, it was possible to achieve the radio frequency (RF) limits by a couple of dBs higher than defined in the corresponding EN standard.

It was also requested to meet strict limits for MTBF (mean time between failures) in harsh environmental conditions.


System Architecture, Including Simulation of RF Path

We have been involved in this project since the beginning and have accompanied it through all development phases, including concept, design, certification, and production launch.

The complete system architecture, including simulation of the RF path, was created. This includes the design of the signal path from the antenna, RF conditioning, frequency translation, ADC, FPGA cores, signal processing, and development of control applications for embedded Linux software systems.

Business Value

Size Reduction and Modern Interfaces

The result was a radio frontend with a compact receiver and transmitter modules. These have half the volume of the previous radio family while reaching better radio parameters.

Modern communication interfaces such as Ethernet, E1 / T1, VoIP and USB have also been added. They were trendy at the time of product launch and demanded by the ATC market.

The radio can easily be controlled remotely and fits perfectly into the IT infrastructure of the ATC market segment.

How It Is Made

Embedded Software Provides Access to Radio Remote Control and Monitoring

The routines were implemented, debugged, and tested in C++ on embedded Linux in the FPGA-integrated NIOS2 processor for embedded software development. A hardware abstraction layer was designed using object-oriented techniques and UML modeling.

The applications enable various functionalities, such as SNMP management agent, TCP control access, and local USB configuration.

We also developed advanced DSP (Digital Signal Processing) algorithms to make the audio signal convenient for the pilot and ATC operator, and to support digital communication protocols such as VDL2 and ACARS.


The client is one of the world's leading providers in the Air Traffic Control segment.

Implementation period: 2004—2012

The first concept phases were launched in 2004. The first prototypes followed in 2005. The first certifications were passed in 2006 and production began in the following years.


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