Kontron, a leading global provider of Embedded computer technology provider, Kontron, has opened an Avionics Systems Integration Lab (SIL) at its North American headquarters in Poway, California. The lab is intended to reduce the time it takes to deploy systems, with a full-simulation testing facility for new IFE and wireless connectivity technologies. Offering shielded isolation, the SIL has been designed to accurately simulate the aircraft cabin wireless network environment to allow characterization of IFEC applications prior to system installation. A wide range of personal electronic devices are available in the SIL to facilitate performance testing and validation of customer applications.
In the lab, engineers can test the full range of in-flight wi-fi, 3G/4G cellular and satellite broadband services, including Internet access, HD video streaming, content loading and retail applications. The SIL can also function as a training facility for the company’s technology partners and customers by offering onsite access as well as remote webcast.
“Technology changes so rapidly that it is more important than ever to help our customers minimize deployment risk and efficiently roll out of their systems on the aircraft. Kontron’s SIL is a valuable test bed for new technologies as well as providing an accurate simulation of the wi-fi cabin environment and applicable aircraft interfaces. We maintain a variety of personal electronic devices in sufficient numbers to help customers fully validate their wireless IFE and connectivity applications prior to installation,” said Andy Mason, head of systems and program management at Kontron.
The lab is already in use as the company validates its latest ACE Flight 600 general-purpose airborne server with an integrated 4G LTE modem. This upgrade to the ACE Flight Server platform is intended to enable airlines a three-times or greater increase in the amount of wireless content loaded during aircraft turnarounds when compared with the previous 3G modem version.
The ACE Flight 600 application-ready platform is targeted at advanced communication application requirements for Ethernet-based network installations on both linefit and retrofit aircraft. Qualified to D0-160G and optimized for a full range of flight information systems, the system serves as a platform to build applications that include crew and passenger web servers, flight maintenance or manifest servers, connectivity server, wireless content server and IFE media servers.
The system integrates a dual core 1.5 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of DDR3 memory with front removable SSD storage capabilities to address demands for increased performance, software and data access. It supports connectivity and bandwidth with features including an L2/L3 managed Gigabit Ethernet Switch with 10 externally available Gigabit Ethernet ports. The ARINC 600 4MCU form factor system also features up to 10 ARINC 429 channels and 10 aircraft discrete I/O in a low power/light weight housing. Since the unit is sealed and uses natural convection, no external fan or other cooling system is required, adding installation flexibility. Linux and Windows operating systems are supported and integrated software drivers and libraries are available.