Did you know – The facts on 5G and Radio Altimeters
The topic of potential signals from 5G broadband networks interfering with radio altimeters equipped on most commercial airlines has been widely reported in recent news. Radio altimeters provide altitude information to flight crews and onboard systems during instrument-based approaches and landings.
Radio Altimeters operate in an Aeronautical Radio Navigation Service (ARNS) spectrum allocation in the 4.2-4.4 GHz frequency band. The deployment of 5G for mobile communication devices interferes with frequency bands that so far have been dedicated to the aerospace industry in the U.S. and may potentially affect the accuracy of information from radio altimeters.
The aviation industry along with the FAA recognize the importance of this situation and are working together with inputs from the telecommunication sector to resolve the 5G interference problem affecting airline operations at hundreds of airports across the U.S. In addition, the FAA issued Airworthiness Directives that can prohibit certain approach and landing operations at airports where 5G interference could occur.
Thales 5G Robust Radio Altimeters
Thales, with its long history of providing state-of-the-art technologies to ensure the safety and efficiency of airline operations, has accelerated the ongoing development of the current ERT-5x0 radio altimeters portfolio of products to help airlines overcome this 5G issue. Thales’s enhanced radio altimeters (named ERT-5x0R) will be certified in June 2022 and available for retrofit shortly thereafter. For ease of operations and maintenance, the new radio altimeters can be installed with an easy unit swap on Airbus, ATR and Boeing aircraft platforms.
Thales will be first on the market with its 5G robust radio altimeter enhanced design, testing demonstrated no signs of interference at the current 5G signal emission levels as well as the anticipated full power 5G signal emission. Thales’s ERT-5x0R uses bandpass radio frequency filtering to deliver a long-term 5G immune solution to airlines with a single retrofit installation.
Thales’s ERT-5x0R is a superior solution addressing the 5G challenge of today and into the future for domestic and international airlines flying in the U.S. We encourage Airlines to evaluate their current situation and reach out to their Thales Account Management Team for more information.