Effects of Pulsed RF Disturbances on Aeronautical Communication Systems

Authors: Emmanuel Van Lil , Jo Verhaevert , Jan De Vos , Dirk Van Troyen

Source: FERMAT, Volume 13, Communication 17, Jan.-Feb., 2017

Abstract: Air Traffic Control (ATC) and their responsible authorities have been always very sensitive to safety of the systems they are using to guarantee a fool-proof and environmentally safe operation of the facilities to provide guidance for the airplanes. Not only the most elaborated systems up to RADAR might be influenced by f.i. wind turbines, but even the old standard air-ground aviation communication systems are prone to interference by other (undesired) signals. This paper deals with the influence of pulsed systems on aviation communication systems. After simple simulations, measurement campaigns, both in an accredited lab and in the field, and with different kinds of sources, from continuous over well defined pulsed to random pulsed are described. An qualitative analysis of the inaccuracies of those measurements is performed and the influence of (shielded and unshielded) spark plug systems on specific aviation communication systems (still based on Amplitude Modulation (AM)) is explained in detail. To conclude, possible remedies (like a shield or the sensitivity reduction of the recievers) are proposed.

Index Terms: Pulsed RF, EMC, aeronautical communication, spark plug interference.

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Effects of Pulsed RF Disturbances on Aeronautical Communication Systems