The Contribution of Space Technologies to Arctic Policy Priorities

and port authorities around the world as an integral part of their vessel management and traffic services systems.

The main requirements for satellite communications originates from air traffic services, aeronautical operation control, aeronautical administration communications, diagnostics and in-flight entertainment, the latter having the highest bandwidth requirements, including phone, e-mail and web services for passengers. (ArticCOM Consortium, 2011)

The utility of S-AIS for safety applications in remote areas such as the Arctic is being recognized and initiatives are underway to advance development. One of the key developments envisaged by S-AIS providers is more complicated receivers handling at least dual polarization extended to multiple antennas using Space-Time Adaptive Processing (STAP) to null out interferers automatically. S-AIS system performance is expected to greatly improve with the introduction of new AIS message types, particularly AIS message type 27, designed specifically for satellite detection, and the introduction of two new protected frequencies to facilitate more effective satellite detection of AIS. Advances in hardware and software are also being exploited to improve the performance of S-AIS through faster and more efficient data processing (HAL, 2011). 4.2 Air Transportation 4.2.1 Overview Air transportation involves the movement of passengers and/or goods by aircraft over regular routes and on regular schedules (i.e., airlines and air courier services), and non-scheduled service (i.e., chartered aircraft). Also included is non-scheduled specialty flying services (e.g., flight training, aerial photography, air ambulance, etc.). While air transportation services in the Arctic are much more limited than in the south, they are more critical because of the absence of viable alternatives in many instances. Similar to other geographical regions, the primary safety risks arise from loss of communications and navigation capabilities. Unlike more highly populated areas, there is an increased risk due to bad weather and landing surface conditions because of the much more limited number of alternate destinations to which an aircraft can reroute. 4.2.2 Policy While air transportation appears to be of less significance than marine transportation, from an Arctic policy perspective, it is mentioned in a couple of the Arctic nations’ policy documents. yy Canada’s Northern Strategy: Our North, Our Heritage, Our Future identifies the strengthening of its land, sea and air capability and capacity as an implementation activity to strengthen its presence in the Arctic. yy Norway’s New Building Blocks in the North report cites developing the air transportation infrastructure in the North as a policy priority, since reliable air connections are necessary to meet their other policy objectives. 4.2.3 Role of Satellite Systems COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS (Impact Medium) Overflight activities have increased significantly since Arctic routes are more time, cost and energy efficient for flight connections between eastern and western parts of the world.


Air transport is greatly impacted by weather patterns and access to reliable and accurate weather services is imperative for safe and effective operations. Weather forecasts can also significantly impact cost effectiveness as route planning and scheduling is dependent on a clear understanding of current and future weather systems.


Similar to marine transportation, GNSS is the primary means of air navigation and has increased the safety of aviation by providing accurate, all weather navigation capability. Navigation performance requirements are dictated by the phase of flight, the aircraft proximity to terrain and other aircraft, and the air traffic control process. Navigation avionics are frequently used in visual flight rules (VFR) 3 and flight below Flight Level (FL) 180, and are required when operating under instrument flight rules (IFR) 4 . The introduction of air navigation using GNSS has brought area navigation (RNAV) 5 within reach of all operators, making a full transition to RNAV-based en route and terminal operations possible in many countries. GNSS by itself does not support approaches with vertical guidance, which require augmentation of GNSS with either an augmentation system, such as WAAS in North America or EGNOS in Europe. Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) is a surveillance technology for tracking aircraft. The system relies on two avionics components – a high-integrity GNSS navigation source and a communications data link (ADS-B unit). In some areas of the Arctic (e.g., northern airspace around Hudson Bay in Canada, being extended to some oceanic areas off the east coast of Canada and Greenland) radar surveillance coverage does not exist, so ADS-B is a critical safety system for air transportation. Pilots benefit from ADS-B by having the ability to see, on their in-cockpit flight display, other traffic operating in the airspace, receiving pertinent updates ranging from temporary flight restrictions to runway closings, and by air traffic controllers having the ability to more accurately and reliably monitor their positions. While ADS-B currently covers only a fraction of the Arctic, the US first implemented ADS-B in Alaska, Russia has a number of operational ADS-B stations (ICAO, 2003), Sweden has implemented nationwide ADS-B coverage (airport-technology. com, 2006) and at least Canada (Transport Canada, 2007) and Iceland (CANSO, 2011) plan to extend coverage over the SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS (Impact Medium)

3 Rules and regulations which allow a pilot to operate an aircraft in weather conditions where visual reference outside of the aircraft is possible. 4 Rules and regulations to govern flight under conditions in which flight by outside visual reference is not safe. 5 RNAV – area navigation is an IFR method that allows an aircraft to choose any course within a network of navigation beacons, rather than navigating directly to and from the beacons, which can decrease flight distance, reduce congestion, and allow flights into airports without beacons

21 4. SAFETY

Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online