Passengers familiar with the view-from-outside delivered by external-mounted cameras are in for a surprise when they get a look through Latecoere’s new “360” system. Mounted either on the belly or roof, the 360 is a small 4k resolution camera with bubble-view anamorphic lens and modern processing power to deliver – to the aircraft IFE system or a personal electronic device – an immersive video experience.

As demonstrated at AIX and set for an OEM-contracted demonstration flight this summer, 360 will let passengers choose to look forwards, backwards or down, with huge zoom flexibility enabled by its super-high resolution.

Interconnection systems business unit director Eric Proust, pictured being captured by a more standard Latecoere “cockpit-view” nose-mounted forward-and-down camera, says the 360 is the product of a quarter of a century of Latecoere experience in fitting airliners with cameras. But this passenger-friendly technology is only part of a broader company strategy to enhance aviation safety with video and communications capability.

An airliner, says Proust, could be fitted with cameras to survey the passenger cabin, cockpit, cockpit door and cargo bay. Such an “Integrated Video Network” could even include infrared cameras in the cargo bay, to provide early warning of any fire threat such as an overheating lithium battery.

The IVN concept as it stands will give cabin crew the sort of mosaic view of multiple cameras familiar to security guards, with the facility to select and zoom. And, if anything suspicious appears, a simple touch-and-tick will send an alert to the cockpit and/or ground. IVN cameras, says Proust, are already flying – all that remains is for Latecoere to put in place the software needed to support the full suite of functions.

Security specialists will also be interested in the IVN’s two-month data recording capability. And, while this first-generation system is to be controlled by the cabin crew, Proust says Latecoere is working on an AI capability that will add the constant scrutiny of artificial intelligence to, for example, cargo bay surveillance.

Meanwhile, he says, Latecoere is also working to replace wi-fi with li-fi – that is, to move from radio waves to light waves to transmit data. Li-fi is faster and, in zones where electromagnetic interference is a problem – such as aircraft cabins and hospitals – it is more reliable, because it doesn’t contribute to EM clutter.

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Source: Flight Daily News