The Wireless Avionics Intra-Communications (WAIC) project, conducted through AVSI, is a collaboration of major aerospace companies working together to address common issues associated with wireless avionics. The group achieved a worldwide radiofrequency spectrum allocation for wireless avionics at the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-15).
Qualifying and Licensing Transmitters Onboard Aircraft
Qualifying radio equipment for use onboard aircraft, whether or it is not intended for safe operation, is problematic and cumbersome. The licensing process for radio transmitters varies throughout the world.
The onboard protected frequency allocation promoted by members of the WAIC project, and approved at WRC-15
- significantly simplifies the radio equipment qualification and licensing process.
- allows systems designers to use the same classical, well established and globally applicable processes that they use for any communication, navigation or surveillance transmitter on board aircraft within other aeronautical frequency bands.
WRC-15 Frequency Allocation
- Enables a globally applicable licensing process.
- Provides harmonization of the technical and operational conditions across regions and countries.
Wireless Communications for Safety-Related Avionics
Current aircraft communications systems include operational communications systems onboard the aircraft, as well as sensors for engines, landing gear and proximity to nearby objects such as vehicles and other aircraft. But these traditional communications systems require complex electrical wiring and harness fabrication, which adds weight to the aircraft — which in turn increases fuel burn. These systems are also unreliable and difficult to reconfigure, and rely on double or even triple redundancy to mitigate the risk of cut or defective wiring.
Advantages of Going Wireless
- Less need for complex electrical wiring and harness fabrication, which will save weight and in turn increase fuel efficiency
- Significant gain in re-configurability through improved installation flexibility
- Reliable monitoring of moving or rotating parts — such as landing gear, in which brake temperature and tire pressure are reported in real-time to the pilot
- Improved reliability of aircraft systems by mitigating common mode failures with route segregation and redundant radio links