Airbus has been busy today at Aircraft Interiors Expo, with the company launching its Airspace Link product and has worked with its first partners to kick off the programme.
Airspace Link brings together technologies after mockups from the Connected Cabin in 2018, integrating the Internet of Things and connectivity in the cabin, as we move to the digitally enabled cabin aboard an aircraft.
Of course, you need a starting layer first – with it launching Airspace Link HBCplus, its new flexible satellite connectivity solution that will be offered as a Supplier Furnished Equipment in its line-fit catalogue option and also for retrofit on all Airbus programmes.
HBCplus, which initially encompasses Ka-band services, will enable airlines to connect to a choice of Managed Service Providers (MSPs) via a new certified terminal and radome built as part of the aircraft. In the future, it is planned to extend HBCplus to include MSPs which offer Ku-band services.
In the launch phase, Inmarsat will provide the Satalite coverage, with its GX Aviation inflight broadband solution. Other providers will join in due course.
Meanwhile, Safran Passenger Innovations has been selected as the terminal provider and hardware integrator of ThinKom’s proven antenna technology, which are targeted for Ka-band services which deliver high data throughput and reliability combined with aircraft fuel savings thanks to the antenna’s lower drag radome.
André Schneider, Airbus VP Cabin & Cargo Programme said:
“We are excited to offer airlines a new connectivity service solution that will provide improved speed and reliability for passenger experience and more flexibility. Together with our leading industry partners we are pleased to enable future connectivity business opportunities in the context of the Airspace Link open ecosystem.”
Philippe Carette, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said:
“We are honoured that Airbus has chosen Inmarsat as the first Managed Service Provider for this transformative connectivity catalogue solution and is putting its trust in our award-winning GX Aviation service across all of its aircraft programmes. Inmarsat looks forward to working closely with our partners Airbus and SPI to deliver continuous innovation for airlines and their passengers worldwide.”
Matt Smith, CEO of Safran Passenger Innovations, said:
“Safran Passenger Innovations is delighted to be selected as the equipment supplier for Airbus’ Airspace Link connectivity solution. We are excited to be a part of the next evolution in the IFC industry by providing the technology for airlines to select the connectivity services most suited to their needs. We look forward to working with Airbus and our partners on this industry-changing endeavour.”
What it will provide?
Airspace Link HBCplus will provide Satcom-based off-board connectivity for the Airspace Link open ecosystem, with Airbus able to offer a total end-to-end solution.
It will enable the exchange of data as one seamlessly integrated aircraft system, to help enable AirspaceLinks digital services, whilst offering passengers a high-quality connectivity solution for both the airlines’ onboard systems, but also to the passenger in the form of a better inflight internet experience.
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