Gogo has roadmap for further aircraft eEnablement projects

Gogo's "Jimmy Ray" B-737 test aircraft used for eEnablement testing.
Gogo’s “Jimmy Ray” B-737 test aircraft used for eEnablement testing.

More than 2,000 aircraft now feature eEnablement using Gogo’s inflight connectivity solutions and 55,000+ crew devices are connected.

That was the message from Chad Gill, Solutions Manager, Aviation IoT, Gogo, speaking at the recent Connected Aircraft eEnablement Conference in London.

Gill said Gogo integrates inflight connectivity within network solutions, services and support.

He added: “The Gogo Airborne Central Processing Unit (ACPU) is used to connect crew devices while in the air, either via a satcom or air-to-ground (ATG) connection. On the ground it can also use a cellular network.”

The ACPU is the server box that controls Gogo’s in-flight internet and entertainment systems. In its ACPU-2 configuration includes a GSM terrestrial modem and dual-band Wi-Fi client to offer gate-to-gate connectivity for passengers, airline crew, and maintenance teams.

Gill said Gogo has found that its 2Ku system has enabled a more than doubling of data usage for weather applications, compared with its ATG 4 solution.

“Consumption rose exponentially once the app was rolled out,” he said.

So what’s next for eEnablement?

“A connected e-logbook would enhance data timeliness and accuracy,” Gill said.

“Ownship position display would also be popular – we have an application programming interface (API) ready to do just that.

“Telemedicine with video telephony, plus crew communications and cockpit integration can also all be done via an IP link.

“One of the main things we are working on now is flight optimisation. We have partnered with NASA on a system that takes ADS-B and real-time weather data and uses a navigation database to enable optimised solutions to save fuel or avoid weather,” Gill said.

NASA Langley is developing the Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests (TASAR) solution. TASAR features cockpit automation that monitors for potential flight trajectory improvements and displays them to the pilot. These wind-optimised flight trajectory changes are pre-cleared of potential conflicts with other known airplane traffic (via ADS-B), weather hazards, and airspace restrictions.

“We have also been working on turbulence reporting to automatically generate and send turbulence reports over data links networks from the aircraft,” Gill said.

But what is the data overhead for a connected weather application?

“Our weather application runs into the “megabytes per flight” arena and I think that will increase over time,” he said.

The information is then crowd-sourced and broadcast to other aircraft.

“We’ve demoed this on our Boeing 737-300. Over time, both with adoption and reliance, we have found that usage will always increase. We have done this with a number of operators and usage always goes up.

“As pilots accept this eEnablement technology they want to use it more,” Gill concluded.

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