Aircell and NASA are clients. But Oulu, Finland-headquartered EB – a developer of embedded technology solutions for the automotive and wireless industries – is only now discussing its relationship with the two firms and its ASO testing solution for the aerospace, aviation and defense markets.
The solution is designed for measuring, modeling and emulating radio channel environments to enable testing of wireless communication links. Come again? Check out the following chart.
In plain speak, however, if an airline (oh lets say American) wants to introduce an Internet connection on a route from Los Angeles to New York City, it will not need to perform extensive field testing at the flight route. Instead, the wireless technology needed for the Internet connection can be developed and tested in laboratory conditions taking into consideration many factors including Doppler, range, handoff, terrain and elevation with the ASO testing solution before the technology is being implemented into an aircraft.
Speaking last week to RWG, EB general manager Juha Auer revealed that the firm has been working with Colorado-based Aircell since early this year. “What our role is really is we’re a very high-end test equipment vendor so we provide this test equipment and enable them to perform this kind of testing.
Key quote from Aircell senior RF engineer Yong Liu:
“As we begin to give passengers the ability to use their own laptops and smartphones at full mobile broadband speeds in-flight, it is imperative that we ensure that the service stays connected as the aircraft flies across the US. Bringing the mobile broadband into an aircraft is extremely difficult due to the high speed of the aircraft and much longer dynamic link distances than in a terrestrial environment. EB’s ASO testing solution allows us to test different radio channel environments on aircrafts without ever leaving the ground. Now we are able to offer our clients the quality of service in aircrafts that they are used to having on the ground.”
Asked if EB is in talks with other in-flight connectivity providers, such as Panasonic Avionics, AeroMobile and OnAir, Auer said: “We have had discussions with some of those companies mentioned.”
The first version of the ASO modeling tool was developed in co-operation with NASA. It allows scientists at NASA to test multiple wireless high-speed data communication links between a spacecraft and a ground station and satellites.
“The ASO tool allows us to recreate environments in the laboratory to test the performance of communications systems during the critical stages of launch, flight, space station docking procedures and landing of a spacecraft”, says Chatwin Lansdowne, engineer at NASA Johnson Space Center. ”This helps us to ensure the functionality of critical communication systems prior to the launch.”