Another Airbus focus at the Paris Air Show was connectivity and the Internet of Things (IoT). Connectivity already is changing lives on Earth – and as these technologies are increasingly being used on aircraft, aviation is benefitting from connectivity across platforms, making the industry safer and more efficient.
With a unique experience that crosses the domains of aircraft, satellites and secure military communications, Airbus is working on harmonising platform connectivity and developing interoperable communication solutions. These solutions can be applied to such diverse platforms as jetliners, helicopters, drones, future VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft, satellites, command centres and mobile units deployed on the ground or at sea.
For connectivity in the air transport sector, Airbus aims to offer the same seamless experience aloft that people have with their mobile phones and devices on the ground – but with the reliability and cybersecurity standards of the aviation industry.
Airbus envisions using connectivity to enhance the passenger experience, while also keeping cabin personnel and flight crews informed of the on-board status – literally from nose to tail. Called the “Connected Experience by Airbus,” it includes such applications as real-time tracking of baggage loading in overhead bins while passengers embark, improving galley monitoring to track food and beverage stocks, performing predictive maintenance through the remote monitoring of lavatories, along with keeping watch on premium-class seats to ensure their functionality and signal problems in case of malfunctions.
An additional benefit of these technologies is improved operational efficiency, as faster data speeds will enable jetliners to gather and share more in-flight information with other aircraft, as well as ground teams and the air traffic system.
Underpinning this new era of connectivity is Skywise, which the company is evolving to serve as aerospace’s data platform of reference. With flexible and visual tools, Skywise enables airlines to store, access, manage and analyse data more efficiently while also benchmarking against other airline users’ trends. The Skywise platform provides all technology elements in one place – from data warehousing, visualisation and alerting to machine learning packages.