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NBAA: Astronics demonstrates 30 new cabin systems

Aviation technology company Astronics has brought to NBAA a new cabin demonstration booth to showcase about 30 cabin technologies.

Those include a cabin control system that lets passengers manipulate a range of cabin functions via a wireless touchscreen device about the size of a smartphone.

The device can control in-flight entertainment, cabin lights and window shades, and passengers can use it to make telephone calls to the ground, Astronics says.

Astronics is promoting "LiFi", new technology that uses LED lights to transmit data via the visible light spectrum. Wi-fi, by comparison, transfers data via radio waves.

Though not yet widely used, LiFi can transmit data at higher speeds than other technologies. It could be used, for example, to download or upload data from aircraft on the ground, the company says.

Separately, Astronics has received "parts manufacturer approvals" from the Federal Aviation Administration for LED landing and taxi lights on a variety of business aircraft. Its LED lights have average time between unscheduled maintenance of some 30,000h, the company says.

Additionally, American aircraft manufacturer Sikorsky recently installed Astronics' "Max-Viz 2300 Enhanced Vision System" on an S-76D chopper.

Using infrared and visible-light sensors, the technology generates video in the cockpit that allows pilots to see through clouds, haze and smoke, the company says.

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