The ‘Connected Aeroplane’ is another step closer with tech company Honeywell dedicating its Aerospace and Defence division to developing the infrastructure which will connect aircrafts to high-speed internet.
The goal? To replicate the speed and reliability of land connections for the air. It’s a task easier said than done with current in-flight internet services being brandished as sketchy at best.
Virgin Australia’s recent attempt to bring Wi-Fi to the skies allowed for an impressive download speed of 70Mbps. Split between 20 passengers though and that speed drops to 3.5Mbps – not bad for standard definition streaming – however, the speeds are skewed depending on each user’s data consumption.
In other words a web browser may have to wait for their page to load whilst the doofus next to them streams Daredevil on Netflix. Load balancing is the current solution for this but in time the passenger demand shall render this obsolete.
Honeywell’s solution relies on partner Immarsat’s satellite technology, whilst GlobalXpress Ka-band serves as the link between three of Immarsat’s existing satellites to speak to the plane. A fourth satellite is also slated to orbit.
This network of satellites ensures that there’s a seamless (and YouTube/Netflix-friendly) transfer of data between satellites, thus eradicating dead spots in your binge fest.