Astronics CSC has launched a new cabin network platform named the Edge, which enables connectivity, IFE and other network services without the need for a head-end server. Even better, the architecture is lightweight and can be installed overnight.
The distributed computing system of the Edge enables groups of networked computers to share workloads to accomplish tasks in order to achieve modularity and scalability for any size of installation. According to Astronics CSC, the system also offers increased security while providing redundancy to eliminate the risk of a single point of failure within the system.
“The Edge truly is a system built to address the future needs of the wireless cabin. We are very excited for its release and how it will shape the future for inflight entertainment and connectivity providers,” said Michael Kuehn, president of Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification (CSC). “By providing a redundant, fault-tolerant solution, the Edge is going to lead the way for the next-generation of connected aircraft.”
The Edge cabin network platform includes Edge SmartWAPs, the Aircraft IO (AIO) unit, and Solid-State Drive (SSD) content loader. The Edge SmartWAP uses wi-fi technology with an 802.11ax access point combined with a multi-core x86 processor. The AIO unit provides aircraft interface options and the SSD content loader provides up to 7.6 terabytes of additional/removable storage and content loading capabilities. Scalable configurations are possible, depending on needs, as up to 16 Edge SmartWAPs and multiple AIOs can be installed per aircraft.