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University receives grant to research next generation air traffic satellite communications

14 March 13

The University of Bradford in collaboration with Thales UK, has been selected by the Technology Strategy Board, the UK's innovation agency, to receive a grant for the development of secure satellite communications to help improve the flow of air traffic over Europe.

The grant has been awarded as part of the Technology Strategy Board's 'Highly Innovative Technology Enablers for Aerospace' competition. The grants are specifically designed to support businesses that wish to collaboratively fund research and development into innovative solutions to address some of the higher-risk challenges facing the UK aerospace industry.

Thales and the University of Bradford's Future Ubiquitous Networks Research Group of the School of Engineering, Design and Technology - which have a long-standing relationship in civil aerospace communications research - will work together to research next-generation air traffic satellite communications and security technologies.

As the number of aircraft and flights increase, there will be a greater requirement for cockpit radio communications and much of this will make use of satellites. This research project will improve techniques for transmitting higher volumes of data, securely, and with greater integrity. In this way, communications acts as an enabler for a more modern, more advanced air traffic management system in dense airspace.

This work is in line with Thales' ambitions within the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR) initiative.

Professor Fun Hu, Head of the Future Ubiquitous Networks Research Group in the School of Engineering, Design and Technology at the University of Bradford, said, "I am extremely delighted with the outcome of the Technology Strategy Board competition. We have already established a close collaboration relationship with Thales UK through EU framework programmes. This project is set to bring forth a much closer strategic partnership between Thales and the University."

Marion Broughton, head of Thales UK's aerospace business said, "Thales is committed to developing new technology for UK and European aerospace; I welcome the support from the Technology Strategy Board which will allow us to work with partners to deliver innovative solutions for the future and ultimately provide safer and smarter technologies to our customers."

14 March 13

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For further information please contact the University of Bradford Press Office on 01274 23 3089/3084.

Out of office hours call 07879 437996. Alternatively, e-mail or fax on (01274) 236280.