Enabling 6G Applications in the Sky: Aeronautical Federation Framework

Arled Papa, Jorg von Mankowski, Hansini Vijayaraghavan, Babak Mafakheriy, Leonardo Gorattiy, Wolfgang Kellerer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


While the current deployment of 5G is concentrated on high-quality service delivery on a two-dimensional terrestrial area covering our planet's surface, ongoing 5G standardization already addresses parts of the third dimension with 5G Non Terrestrial Networks (5G-NTN). 6G is expected to further leverage aeronautical communication towards a full exploration and comprehensive unification of all three dimensions. In this way, future communication systems will not only encompass all kinds of aeronautical platforms such as satellites, High- Altitude Platforms (HAPs), civil aircrafts, (self-)flying taxis, and UAVs but shall also enable the unification of terrestrial and non-terrestrial networks on a service platform level. This is further challenging, due to the rather closed aeronautical systems so far. We believe that emerging technology concepts such as Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) and Software-Defined Networking (SDN) can provide a basis for the full integration of aeronautical systems into their terrestrial counterpart. However, these technologies render the management and orchestration of aeronautical systems complex. As a step towards the integration of aeronautical communication and services into 6G, we propose a framework for the collection, monitoring, and distribution of resources in the sky among heterogeneous flying objects. This enables high-performance services for a new era of 6G aeronautical applications. Based on our proposed Aeronautical Federation Framework, we introduce emerging application use cases including aeronautical edge computing, aeronautical sensor networks, and aircraft cabin networks. In turn, we derive research challenges for 6G aeronautical networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Network
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • 5G mobile communication
  • 6G mobile communication
  • Aircraft
  • Resource management
  • Satellite broadcasting
  • Servers
  • Wireless networks


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