April 18, 2011

Rohde & Schwarz Publishes Aviation RF Link iPhone app

As a service for its air-traffic-control (ATC) customers, Rohde & Schwarz has developed an iPhone app. It calculates the field strength at the receive antenna of an aircraft at a given altitude and available output power on the ground and, in parallel, the radio horizon. 

When planning the radio coverage for its air-traffic controllers’ communications system, an ATC organization must adhere to the reference values and recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This requires the calculation of the forward link: At a given radiated RF power – comprising transmitted power, cable losses and antenna gain – and distance to the aircraft, the tool determines the minimum field strength to be achieved at the aircraft antenna. In parallel, the tool determines the radio horizon (= line of sight, LOS), which can be calculated from the aircraft’s altitude and the height of the transmitter site on the ground.

The new Aviation RF Link application does all these calculations. This iPhone app, which provides an easy-to-use tool for estimating radio coverage, can now be downloaded free of charge from the App Store on the Apple website.