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ESA Iris Programme for Safer, Greener Air Travel

Calian AT supplies ground systems for Viasat Inc. (formerly Inmarsat), a global communications company, that provides satellite-based safety communications to the world’s commercial aviation fleet.

Calian is a member of the Iris Programme, an initiative led by Viasat and funded in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA), that is dedicated to modernizing air traffic management through the introduction of new high-capacity, secure satellite data links to aircraft flying in busy domestic airspace. Iris will enable flight trajectories to be continually updated in a way that both maximizes airspace efficiency while minimizing fuel burn and CO2 emissions, and is seen as a key enabler of greener aviation worldwide. The service has undergone the required certifications and pre-commercial flights with easyJet and will commence in early 2024 in preparation for full commercial service availability.

Calian Air-Ground Gateways play a vital role in supporting the communications by providing the bridge between the satellite network and the terrestrial Air-Traffic Management network. Software within the Calian Air-Ground Gateway ensures the safety of the airspace by monitoring the strict communication timing performance standards, and identifying any issues with communications networks that may need to be addressed.

Dale Irish, Senior Director Tech Delivery at Viasat commented, “Calian has been a core supplier of satellite technology at our ground stations worldwide. The ESA partnership has galvanised industry to enable a step-change in air traffic management where pilots will be able fly the most efficient routes, saving time and fuel, while reducing the environmental impact of aviation.”

Calian is proud to assist in these vital efforts across the world, providing the ground gateway that is relied upon when networks cannot afford to fail.

Calian’s commitment to facilitating greener, more efficient air travel demonstrates our commitment to the Calian ESG vision: Collaboration to Advance Resilience Excellence and Sustainability—Calian CARES™.