Thales and its partners have been awarded £6.4 million from the Aerospace Growth Partnership (AGP) fund for the HARNet (Harmonised Antennas, Radios and Networks) strategic research programme.
Thales and industry partner Cobham will invest an additional £5.2 million into the research. The programme will be aided and supported by the research of the University of Bradford, the University of Southampton, and Queen Mary, University of London.
The partnership will develop the radio techniques and technologies required to develop an Integrated Modular Communications (IMC) system for civil aircraft using software defined radio technology.
This IMC will help remove capacity constraints, meaning improved operational efficiency and a reduction in fuel burn, noise and CO₂ emissions. An IMC would also offer higher reliability, safety and security.
OEMs benefit from this approach as less equipment will need to be installed on new aircraft, freeing up critical space, reducing weight and using less power. For the airlines reduced weight means reduced costs.