Airborne to provide low-cost aircraft broadband

Thursday, 06 April, 2017

Airborne to provide low-cost aircraft broadband

An application has been made by Airborne Wireless Network to obtain an experimental licence for system demonstration.

The Federal Communication Commission licence file number 0378-EX-ST-2017 will enable it to begin air-to-air and air-to-ground meshed network system evaluations.

This will allow the company to begin ground and flight radiofrequency transmission testing of its patented technology, the Infinitus Super Highway.

The demonstration system has been lab tested at one of Airborne Wireless Network’s contracted partner facilities. The company will now take these successful results and bring them to its test bed Boeing 757 aircraft for ground fitting, testing on the tarmac and eventual flight evaluation.

During the flight demonstration, the company intends to pass broadband data between airborne aircraft and a ground station, demonstrating the air-to-air and air-to-ground meshed network.

“Upon successful completion of this flight demonstration, we will follow up with a larger scale, 20 aircraft test over an island community, where we intend to emulate global broadband services to users onboard the aircraft as well as on the ground, onboard ships and oil platforms,” said Jason de Mos, vice president of business development and compliance.

“We believe our technology will bridge the network within the airborne hubs to eliminate single points of failure, reduce latency and virtually eliminate the effect of severe weather, natural disaster or economic downtime.”

Once implemented, the Infinitus Super Highway will be an air-to-air communication system. It will be a new use for already existing fleets of commercial airline aircraft to replace low-earth orbit communication satellites.

Infinitus should provide low-cost, broadband wireless communication infrastructure from points-to-points, accomplished by using and modifying existing, small, lightweight low-power, low-cost relay station equipment onboard the commercial airline aircraft. Each equipped aircraft would have a broadband wireless communication link (within line-of-sight coverage ranges) to one or more neighbouring aircraft or ground stations, which will form a chain of seamless airborne repeaters providing broadband wireless communication gateways along the entire flight path.

Infinitus Super Highway, when implemented, will provide broadband wireless communication services for customers in-flight as well as customers on land, along the line-of-sight ranges of the flight path from the commercial airline aircraft.

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