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Wireless in-cabin communication for aircraft infrastructure

A holistic approach for on-board high data-rate UWB network


Wireless communication networks have recently gained appeal among aircraft manufacturers as a cost-effective manner to provide services to crew and passengers. A preliminary survey study has indicated Ultra Wideband (UWB) technology and in particular a solution implementing ECMA-368 protocol as one of the most promising means to develop high-data rate networks within the airplane. Some interesting products have already reached mass market, although most of them comply with the Wireless-USB specification and are therefore conceived to offer wireless connectivity to external peripherals or small networks with a “host-device” architecture.

In this paper we analyse the issues which emerge when the ECMA-368 Physical and Medium Access Control (MAC) protocols are used as underlying layer for the realization of complex IP networks and point out the specific challenges related to the aeronautical use case. Solutions for optimal node placement, quality of service mechanisms and loss-free mobility support are presented in theoretical and practical approaches. The work supports the aircraft manufacturing and operation with a fundamental protocol analysis, assisting methods during the design phase and algorithms for the operation of the aircraft.

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Correspondence to Sergio Bovelli.

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Leipold, F., Tassetto, D. & Bovelli, S. Wireless in-cabin communication for aircraft infrastructure. Telecommun Syst 52, 1211–1232 (2013).

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  • Aircraft Cabin Management System
  • Wireless resource management
  • Wireless system design