A Smart Cabin System and an electronically steered array antenna head up the products displayed by Astronics at Stand 3B30 – supported by new concepts in cabin lighting, passenger service units and the use of Li-Fi.

The cabin system builds on “Internet of Things” concepts and technology to ensure that cabin crew can oversee elements of safety and service without having to do "hands-on" verifications, such as in the take-off and landing phases of flight. Occupation of seats and the space in the luggage bins are also monitored by the system.

For seat occupation, proximity and pressure sensors are augmented by a thermal sensor to ensure correct authentication. “With the pressure sensor in particular, a heavy bag may give a false reading which a thermal sensor will not register,” says Astronics Ballard Technology president, Jon Neal. Data from the sensors across the cabin is sent to a server, which is accessed by the cabin crew using tablet devices.

The E-Series antenna features an electronically steered array to deliver a turnkey solution across commercial, business and military aviation. As a modular solution, the array size can be changed to meet operators’ requirements. Thus the E-1000 for commercial aviation has 10 modules to give the biggest aperture, while the E-600, with six modules, is better suited to business aviation.

Astronics Aerosat president Matt Harrah says a proof of concept E-200 will also be on show. This will be a Low Earth Orbit (LEO)-only antenna, whereas the others are both LEO and Geostationary Earth Orbit compatible.

All the E-Series antennas have a low profile, and are around 25% the height of previous antennas.

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Source: Flight Daily News