CGI selected for the latest phase of Iris that will help improve efficiency of air traffic management


CGI has been selected by Inmarsat to increase capabilities for the latest phase of the Iris programme. Developed by Inmarsat and the European Space Agency (ESA), Iris aims to transform air traffic management through satellite technology. CGI has been working with Inmarsat to deliver a secure, satellite-based communication link between air traffic controllers and pilots since the beginning of the Iris programme in 2014.  

Ultimately, Iris will enable more efficient routing of aircraft leading to reduction of congestion, fuel and CO2 emissions. This new phase, Iris Global, focuses on adopting the technologies required to share the resulting  benefits with airlines in regions in Europe and far beyond. In addition, research on future capabilities for the integration of uncrewed aviation into European airspace will be supported.  

Building upon its existing Iris safety and security project experience, CGI will further enhance Iris’ ground infrastructure by helping it adopt the latest aviation communications technology. Additionally, CGI will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve operational efficiency through service anomaly detection. 

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For the command and control of uncrewed aircraft beyond the visual line of sight, CGI will lead system-level safety, security and certification analysis for the use of the space-based Iris data link. Working with its partners, CGI will develop an Uncrewed Aircraft System architecture using the strategic and tactical mitigations required for safe operation, with a particular focus on populated areas and within the vicinity of airports. 

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“With traffic congestion and sustainability among the top aviation concerns, it is exciting to see the Iris programme begin to deliver on its many benefits, such as minimising delays and saving fuel, both of which reduce costs and environmental impact. We have a strong heritage of developing secure and safety-critical software systems for satellite communications, and are delighted to continue to support Inmarsat and the European Space Agency as the Iris programme delivers on its promise,” CGI’s Shaun Stretton, Senior Vice President of Space Command and Information Solutions in the UK, said. 

CGI has been a major partner in the Iris programme since its inception in 2014, leading safety systems design, as well as key aspects of systems integration and IT security. CGI will continue to evolve the programme’s secure ground system technology and provide expertise in support the modernisation of the programme’s Aeronautical Telecommunication Network.  

For more than 40 years, CGI has delivered complex, mission-critical space software systems for clients across Europe, Australia, Asia and North America, from satellite navigation, to communications and operations, to space-enabled applications.