Home' RTCA Documents for Review : C2 Link Systems MASPS_Draft Contents Appendix B
© 2018 RTCA, Inc.
All UAS operations will depend on the supporting services or infrastructures that exist in
the U. S. airspace31
FAA Services are required for flight plan filing, ATC separation,
weather information, and navigation aids. If terrestrial C2 Links Systems are used to
operate the aircraft, those services will be required to be up and available prior to starting
and throughout the flight. This may require the assignment of specific frequencies from a
frequency assignment management service (APPENDIX A, Section A.2.7). For Satellite-
based C2, link availability throughout the flight would have to be provided and assured for
the entire route of flight32
Some flights will require support from both terrestrial and
SATCOM types of C2 Link Systems.
This section contains brief descriptions of each of these three types of services that could
be used: the FAA ATC services, satellite networks to a UA, and terrestrial networks.
FAA ATC Services
According to the FAA Aeronautical Information Manual,
The Federal Aviation Administration is responsible for ensuring the safe,
efficient, and secure use of the Nation’s airspace, by the military as well as civil
aviation, for promoting safety in air commerce. The activities required to carry
out these responsibilities include safety regulations; airspace management and
the establishment, operation, and maintenance of a civil-military common
system of ATC and navigation facilities.
The FAA ATC system provides separation services, flight planning services, and traffic
management services to the aviation industry in the U.S.
The FAA is in the process of implementing data communications services as a supplement
to voice communications for ATC services. These services will be optional for the
foreseeable future and will be offered in areas where voice communications are often
congested or for more complex services that cannot be easily delivered over voice
communications (e.g., airborne reroutes for convective weather). The messages will be
delivered by third-party service providers using private networks of VHF data radios across
the U.S. Because the data are routed through a ground network to the radios it is reasonable
to assume any UAS using the FAA data communications services will receive those
messages via a ground-to-ground connection. Consequently, this MASPS does not address
delivery of FAA ATC data messages through the C2 Link System.
Note: FAA ATC data messages are only used for routine communications. Urgent
communication between controller and pilot will be over voice radios and
therefore voice communications are still required even if FAA ATC data
communications are available between the remote pilot and ATC.
Current unmanned aircraft operations in controlled airspace require the use of IFR flight
plans, which in turn require the use of VHF voice radios for communications between the
31 Potential future services were identified where possible and discussions offered on how the C2 Link System could
32 The scope does not include switchovers between satellites from different satellite providers, i.e., interoperability is
beyond the scope of this MASPS.
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