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PLANET aims at providing aviation with in-flight information updates on weather conditions and hazards, while contributing at the same time to the observation of the atmosphere thanks to in situ measurements (e.g. pressure, temperature and wind) sent from the aircraft to the weather agencies.
Besides, the system targets in-flight reporting of dangerous encountered weather conditions via the delivery of digital PIREPs (pilot reports) to other aircrafts, and other non-meteorological services such as in-flight messaging or tracking.
Thanks to the “collaborative meteo concept” (i.e. fruition of weather services and provision of weather observation data at the same time), PLANET aims at:
The main objective of this project is to develop a first iteration of the PLANET service that will allow a demonstration to potential users.
As shown on the figure bellow, potential users are:
The PLANET architecture can be divided into two distinct parts:
A prototype of the onboard equipment will be developed, capable of exploiting both the Iridium (burst service) and GPRS data services. The ground system will allow exchanging the data with weather agencies and other ground users and providers.
Key issues of PLANET project are:
Innovative and competitive commercial solution based on:
The PLANET demonstrator will implement the following main features:
The PLANET Architecture includes onboard equipment installed in aircrafts and a ground server which manages both the fleet and the exchanges with external entities. The following figure presents the architecture of the system and the main functions that will be developed for each part.
Concerning the onboard part, here are the main functions developed:
As for the ground server, the following blocks will be developed:
The 12 months project duration aims at demonstrating the technical and commercial viability of the PLANET concept.
A functional prototype will be developed and validated during a three months pilot phase, with Lab testing, mobile testing in vehicles, and in-flight testing with a Cessna 172 and a DR40.
Dedicated demonstrations and presentations will be performed to several stakeholders (e.g. business Airlines, Pilots and civil aviation authority).
The Final Review has been successfully held at ESA ESTEC on 27th September 2011, including a live demonstration of the PLANET service and on-board equipment.
In October 2012 ATMOSPHERE has submitted a PLANET2 project proposal targeting hardware and software certifications and additional in-flight weather services for business and regional aviation. The proposal has been accepted by ESA and the PLANET2 project has been kicked-off in Feb2012. For more info about PLANET2 click here.