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General and commercial aviation authorities have been using amplitude modulation communication systems for more than 70 years. Due to the great increase of air traffic during the last years, the VHF band tends towards saturation, whereas the aeronautical community faces new requirements: data rate, spectral efficiency and network capacity (maximum number of aircrafts simultaneously connected). Recently, the development of a new digital aeronautical communication system, named L-DACS, was proposed. This system will operate in the L band part allocated to aeronautics. There were many proposals but only two candidates have been pre-selected by the ITU and ICAO for this future communication system: L-DACS1 and L-DACS2. The deployment of this new system is expected to start after 2020. Among other issues, one important aspect is the impact of L-DACS on legacy systems. Actually, there are many onboard systems operating in L band, and any disfunction can put in danger the flight safety. This paper studies the maximum interference level generated by the two L-DACS candidates on a generic onboard receiver. Taking into account the antenna radiation pattern and the specific transmission mask of both candidates, the study determines the worst interference level and the corresponding spatial positions of the aircrafts around the receiver. The results show that the interference level can be determined by considering the several nearest aircrafts to the victim.
Date of Conference: 13-16 Sept. 2009