PHOTO: Panasonic’s Mission Control Center revealed

Mission Control.JPG

Oh, we’ve got trouble. Right here in River City (okay, Lake Forest).

As I reported from APEX last week, in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) hardware giant Panasonic Avionics is taking trouble-shooting to a whole new level with the creation of a new Mission Control Center that is perpetually connected to the firm’s customer support offices around the world and its OEM facilities.

The center becomes even more important as more and more aircraft are fitted with Panasonic’s in-flight broadband system (word on the street is that Panasonic is poised to announce another fleet-wide customer for its global communications suite…think Middle East).

Key quote about mission control from Panasonic Avionics CEO Paul Margis:

“With broadband connectivity, the Mission Control Center can use real time monitoring to keep an aircraft’s IFEC system fully operational and ensure that it delivers against high passenger expectations at a minimum cost. Issues can be addressed from the ground by Mission Control and should a problem not be resolved in real time ground crew can be dispatched to the plane before landing with the correct equipment and exact seat location. The airline could benefit from streamlined maintenance, as well as reduced operational costs and maximized uptime.”

So the broadband system on the aircraft becomes a node on the airline’s IT network.
Isn’t this the kind of real-time troubleshooting that now-defunct Connexion by Boeing once promised?

Perhaps we should celebrate!

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One Response to PHOTO: Panasonic’s Mission Control Center revealed

  1. MJ September 24, 2010 at 2:01 am #

    PAC’s mission control centre looks incredibly similar to the Thales AOC!

    How much benefit will Lufthansa, Turkish and Etihad actually see with the introduction of ‘real-time troubleshooting’. What are the onboard crew going to do that they can’t do already? Their interaction is pretty much limited to seat/seat group resets and system power cycling.

    I can understand the benefit of the ground crew being forewarned of possible issues and being able to position the required manpower and spares, this will obviously help when there is limited ground time. But the airlines already have access to this functionality, BITE information can already be sent to an online analysis tool during flight (usually at the top of descent)via a data3 connection. Both PAC and the airline have access to the tool andd can use it to troubleshoot off wing.

    Additionally the tool will only be as good as the coverage of the Ku solution and nobody is sure all bases are covered here yet.