Safran Passenger Innovations (SPI) has unveiled RAVE Ultra plus, its next- generation IFE system, engineered with sustainability and flexibility in mind.
SPI claims that, depending on the aircraft configuration, RAVE Ultra Plus represents a weight saving of up to 23% compared with its predecessor, RAVE Ultra. This saving is achieved by using smaller and lighter line-replaceable units (LRUs) and optimising cable weights by reducing the number of wires – an important factor as cables make up approximately 30% of the total system weight.
Another design consideration of RAVE Ultra Plus was to provide every passenger with the power they need to charge all their personal devices in any cabin class, which SPI say it has achieved while using up to 21% less power than RAVE Ultra. This is achieved by providing only the power needed as opposed to providing a guaranteed maximum power output at every outlet. RAVE Ultra Plus also has a focus on parts commonality, meaning the exact same LRUs and cables can be used across many aircraft platforms.
The RAVE Ultra Plus core product incorporates a lightweight DC seat power system that powers the in-seat RAVE IFE system and provides up to 60W USB fast charging per passenger. USB-C will become the standard for electronic device charging, but there may be a need to offer AC charging in economy cabins in the immediate future.
To meet this need and avoid creating an inefficient ‘one size fits all’ power solution, SPI has developed a new product that allows AC power in economy to be selected as an option. The solution is deployed by distributing AC power directly to AC outlets located in every seat from a small number of power distribution points located throughout the cabin. This means AC power can be offered in every seat without the need for an AC seat power box in every seat group.
RAVE Ultra Plus is powered by RAVE OS, an open software platform that allows third parties to develop applications that can be seamlessly run on RAVE, enabling airlines to control their own IFE features. RAVE OS continues to take a product line approach, meaning SPI customers benefit when new features are introduced, without additional development costs.
SPI is now working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to bring the latest Cloud technologies into the RAVE ecosystem. This will be enabled both on the ground and on the aircraft to form the core of the next generation of RAVE OS. SPI says the first phase of development will focus on quickly and effortlessly delivering software and content to a global fleet of aircraft using intelligent workflow to manage the complexities of status and regulatory compliance.
Next-generation display technology
The next generation of RAVE also brings in 4K Ultra High-Definition displays with mini LED technology. The new displays will be available in early 2025 in premium cabins, where the larger display sizes show the benefit of this technology.
Mini LED Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) is making its way into RAVE based on its image quality, and its durability, as LCD has over a decade of proven performance inflight, eliminating many of the risks of adopting an unproven technology. SPI states that Mini LED offers ‘exceptional’ brightness and contrast, in addition to zone dimming technology for truer blacks, supporting High Dynamic Range (HDR) content.
Matt Smith, CEO of Safran Passenger Innovations says “SPI stands behind its ability to provide IFE systems that will stand the test of time. RAVE first-generation systems are still flying today, 12 years after they were first introduced, offering the same quality of experience from when they were installed. We specifically selected mini LED technology to ensure we can continue to offer this same outstanding performance for our customers and an incredible passenger experience.”