Kontron enables airlines to take advantage of higher performance wireless networks
Published: 17 June 2015 - Marianne Evans
Kontron, a global business for embedded computing technology (ECT), has introduced its Cab-n-Connect A100 cabin wireless access point (CWAP) based on the latest IEEE 802.11ac specification that delivers significantly increased data throughput compared to earlier 802.11n solutions. Designed to be the most capable 802.11ac CWAP available in the market, the Kontron CWAP delivers multiple technology advancements that include 3X3 Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) performance utilising dual integrated Wi-Fi radios (2.4GHz and 5GHz) to support three spatial data streams per radio. This performance enhancement allows airlines to realise sizeable improvements to bandwidth efficiency and operation. The integrated antenna solution reduces the overall size and installation complexity.
Kontron’s beamforming enhancements provide the most efficient path for data transmission between an access point and a client device, reducing the amount of time the device is on the network to improve client device battery usage and overall network performance. To protect against network attacks, the Kontron Cab-n-Connect A100 features state-of-the-art enterprise level wireless security based on the WiNG 5 software. This integrated software provides a highly robust distributed architecture that extends QoS, security and mobility services on the aircraft enabling highly-secure direct routing and network resilience.
Offering the ability to operate as a Cabin Wireless LAN Unit (CWLU) and Terminal Wireless LAN Unit (TWLU) and qualified to DO-160G (pending), the Cab-n-Connect A100 is backwards compatible to 802.11 a/b/g/n standards and previously deployed Cab-n-Connect systems. It features onboard WiNG software that supports fast roaming between access points on the aircraft while eliminating sticky clients. Its SMART-RF intelligently adapts to the aircraft environment enabling optimal client performance by automatically adjusting power and channel as needed. Further improving overall network performance, the Cab-n-Connect A100 uses smart load balancing to distribute clients evenly across aircraft access points and bands. Additional advanced features such as a daisy-chain interconnect with fail-over and IP address strapping are provided along with an integrated internal antenna that eliminates the need for externally-mounted antennas thereby simplifying installation and increasing the CWAP’s overall reliability.
Kontron conducted multiple vendor client device tests in the company’s System Integration Lab (SIL) and concluded that its new CWAP supports four times as much data throughput based on commonly used 802.11ac tablets verses 802.11n tablets. Specific details of the various test results will be available in a new Kontron white paper entitled, “Wireless Connectivity for Airborne IFE and Services Advances”, which will be available online soon.
Helping developers achieve a new generation of connected aircraft based on the Internet of Things (IoT), Kontron’s complete line of highly-integrated system components enable secure, reliable connectivity that facilitates the future of In-flight Entertainment and Communication (IFE&C) deployments. Kontron solutions give airlines the ability to access critical data in real-time and augmented by new software solutions that improve the passenger experience while reducing operational costs. At the same time, Kontron’s integrated systems make new revenue-generating onboard services possible -- from online shopping and reservations, to destination information, real-time travel information and seat-to-seat chat capabilities and enhance the passenger experience in the process. Wireless technology solutions from Kontron facilitate additional cost savings by eliminating extensive aircraft cabin wiring effectively reducing overall weight and the associated deployment challenges and recurring maintenance costs of the IFE system.
Kontron will showcase the Cab-N-Connect A100 at the Paris Air Show, June 15 – 21, 2015 in its booth in Cluster PEGASE Hall 4, B54, B78. To learn more and to see detailed specifications, please go to the Cab-n-Connect A100 product page.