-Preparing a flight plan can be a long and arduous task for pilots, who have to process large quantities of information on weather patterns, ground topology, the flights of other aircraft and fuel consumption.
The SkyLiberty aeronautical navigation support service, developed in partnership between ESA and a Belgian company called ESNAH, aims to overcome these difficulties using a single device.
It integrates aeronautical, geographical and meteorological data with information on airspace regulations.
SkyLiberty helps pilots to devise a tailored flight plan. Once airborne, the device informs them of their precise location and the weather conditions ahead.
Because the device is programmed with information on airspace regulations, SkyLiberty can alert pilots and their ground-based support if the aircraft starts to drift towards restricted airspace, such as the areas around commercial airports or buildings such as nuclear reactors.
The device enables two-way communication between the pilots and the ground. Flying schools and air traffic control could use it to track the flight paths of light aircraft and to talk to pilots.
All this is made possible thanks to the combination of satellite communication and data from the global navigation satellite system.