Improving the Lifespan of LDACS Air-To-Air Multi-Hop Connections by Heading Direction


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The current capacity of aeronautical datalinks is reaching its limits, especially in the European airspace, and hindering the growth of global civil aviation. To modernize the Air Traffic Management (ATM) and digitize aeronautical communications, research, and deployment of successor technologies are underway. The planned successor for the En-Route (ENR) domain in European continental air traffic is the Lband Digital Aeronautical Communications System (LDACS) Air-Ground (A/G) terrestrial communications system. LDACS is planned to be expanded by an Air-Air (A/A) communication mode called LDACS A/A in the future. This long-distance multi-hop A/A communication can expand LDACS ground station coverage to oceanic and remote areas, thus enhancing the terrestrial infrastructure. While LDACS A/G incorporates robust cybersecurity measures, the development of cybersecurity for the LDACS A/A extension is in its early stages. This paper examines the stability of multi-hop connections over continental Europe based on historical flight data from the OpenSky Network and suggests that taking into consideration the heading of an aircraft can extend the lifetime of these connections. This increased connection lifetime makes the resource-demanding process of secure connection establishment worthwhile.
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LDACS A/G,LDACS A/A,Performance Evaluation,Cybersecurity
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