Italian firm Leonardo has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to integrate Aireon’s space-based Automatic Dependent Broadcast (ADS-B) data into its ‘LeadInSky’ air traffic management (ATM) system.

Leonardo’s latest-generation ATM automation platform, known as LeadInSky, provides safer and more secure air traffic control through multi-level redundancies and disaster-recovery capabilities.

Additionally, LeadInSky offers an improved level of data-processing availability and maintains consistency through multiple levels of redundancy.

Designed to deliver a ‘seamless control capability’, the LeadInSky merges data from a range of sources to offer a comprehensive picture of air traffic, from the airport gates to when aircraft are en-route to their destinations.

“Space-based ADS-B data will be integrated seamlessly into LeadInSky ATM system and provide end-users with an unprecedented dataset.”

A combination of space-based ADS-B data into the LeadInSky ATM platform will enable ANSPs to optimise flight routes and enhance airspace management of ADS-B equipped aircraft.

Leonardo Traffic Control Systems, Security and Information Systems division senior vice-president Davide Cioppi said: “This agreement with Aireon will further enhance LeadInSky’s position as a leading automation platform for ANSPs.

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“Space-based ADS-B data will be integrated seamlessly into LeadInSky ATM system and provide end-users with an unprecedented dataset that can be used to enhance safety and optimise operations throughout the ANSP.

“Leonardo is ready to support the introduction to space-based ADS-B data: with a global, real-time data set, this will change the aviation industry as we know it.”

The Aireon service will be operational by the end of this year, following the completion of the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation.

The constellation will comprise 66 operational low-Earth-orbit satellites, providing global coverage with an additional nine orbiting spares and six ground spares.