NASA Seeks Input Regarding IPv6-Based Global Aeronautical Network
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is performing research and development under the Airspace Systems Program to enable major increases in the capacity, mobility and security of the air transportation system. The Advanced CNS Architectures and Systems Technologies Project (ACAST) Project within this program is developing technologies intended to improve the performance of the communications, navigation and surveillance infrastructure in support of the program’s goals. In addition, in 2004, NASA initiated the Secure Aircraft System for Information Flow (SASIF) project, an element of the Aviation Safety Program (AvSP). SASIF is concerned with hardening the radio data links and network communications, mainly directed at hostile act intervention and protection.
NASA is working with other U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Transportation, and the Federal Aviation Administration, to define concepts and requirements for the transformation of the National Airspace System required to enable a tripling of growth in system capacity. A key concept of this transformation is the development of network-centric information systems, which includes the airborne elements.
The NASA Glenn Networking Research Group, on behalf of the ACAST and SASIF projects, has formulated a list of requirements to ensure global interoperability and deployment. Here, “global” implies interoperability of all elements including network security, whereas “deployment” implies affordability and readily available technologies (i.e., technologies that will be available in the next few years).
Global Airspace System Requirements:
On February 8, 2005, NASA released a formal request for information (RFI) seeking comments on these requirements, with the intent to encourage open response that could be shared globally. This formal RFI expired on March 28, 2005. The results – those that have been cleared for full disclosure by the individuals or organizations – are available at the following URL: http://roland.grc.nasa.gov/~ivancic/RFI/responses/responses.html.
Although the formal RFI has closed, the network research group is still very interested in receiving comments regarding these salient requirements and inputs regarding future requirements pertaining to network-centric operations for both airspace system user operations and air traffic management. Comments are being sought from those directly involved in aeronautics, as well as in telecommunication, communications, and computers, as well as information assurance providers and electronic appliance manufacturers, as we believe those outside the traditional aeronautics community have expertise and insight that are directly applicable to network centric operations.
The members of the network research group believe that use of commercial off the shelf technologies and techniques and IPv6-enabling technologies has the potential to make network centric operations economically and technically realizable throughout the Global Airspace System. We believe network centric operations have the potential to greatly enhance system capacity and throughput, as well as provide airlines with new revenue generating services (e.g., entertainment services, Internet access, directed advertising, and telephone services) and improved operations (e.g., engine and aircraft monitoring, security, electronic flight bag, baggage handling, flight safety, passenger scheduling and rescheduling, and deployment of radio frequency identification technologies).
As the airlines are the ultimate customer – they purchase the planes, pay for communication systems, pay for maintenance and foot the bill for security requirements mandated by government agencies – NASA would greatly appreciate their input. NASA would also like to hear from the automotive industry, as there is much synergy between these two transportation industries, with the automotive industry providing the necessary volume to drive down system costs.
This request for comment is an attempt to obtain input from non-aeronautics groups as well as from the aeronautics community in hopes of broadening the aerospace communities' horizons. It is a request for constructive criticism with the aim of allowing individuals, industry, academia and governments the opportunity to provide input to the architecture and design of the future global airspace system.
A user friendly URL for this request as well as instructions for submitting comments can be found here: http://roland.grc.nasa.gov/~ivancic/RFI/rfi.html.
Please feel free to forward this request to whomever you might feel would benefit.