What is Iris?

Iris is a SATCOM Data Link system funded and promoted by the European Space Agency (ESA) and led by Viasat. ESSP is the official Iris Service Provider following long term agreement signed with Viasat in July 2023.

Developed for ESA by a world-class industrial consortium led by Viasat, Iris is already contributing to the European Commission’s (EC) Aviation Strategy and worldwide aviation community supporting next-generation air traffic management systems in Europe, in line with the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research (SESAR) programme, under the leadership of the European Commission.

Iris is powered by Viasat's SwiftBroadband–Safety (SB-S) technology, and extends the use of SATCOM in continental high density traffic airspace for the support of ATS data communications (namely ATN-B1 and ATS-B2 services).

Iris is the only satellite-based data link technology operational today to provide digital satellite communications that can complement VHF data link, which is nearing a capacity crunch in congested airspace. Without fast and reliable data links between aircraft and the ground, air traffic managers cannot unlock the 8-10% reduction in CO2emissions identified by EUROCONTROL from improved Air Traffic Management (ATM). Iris is a first-of-its-kind to be provided by an organization (ESSP) who is certified by EASA for the provision of Iris Service and under EASA continuous oversight.