LiFi usage aboard commercial flights is slowly becoming a reality.
Toulouse-based Latécoère, a major supplier and partner of Tier 1 aircraft manufacturers and aerospace conglomerates, has recently announced its shift towards the industrialization of its LiFi technology. This was announced as part of its memorandum of agreement that was signed together with Signify in order to bring LiFi closer to large-scale implementation in the aviation industry.
The Power of LiFi
While making the announcement, Latécoère CEO Yannick Assouad stated: “The Paris Air Show 2019 allowed Latécoère to show the power and speed of LiFi. Our technology, which illustrates our leading position in terms of innovation, has raised high expectations from the market and is now ready to take the next step.”
Once implemented on airline cabins, LiFi is poised to make a greater impact as it provides a greater onboard connectivity experience in terms of bandwidth, latency, and stability. Its biggest advantage is that visible light does not provide any interference with an airline’s sensitive equipment, which makes flights safer. Its connections are also unaffected by movements of the aircraft.
Installation of LiFi systems on aircraft will also prove even more beneficial as it reduces cabling. Infrastructure upgrades to accommodate LiFi onboard the aircraft to low-weight fiber optic solutions can help reduce weight and fuel consumption of the plane.
“Signify and Huneed Technologies will open new horizons and new opportunities to LiFi, that its use is widespread in aircraft cabins,” Assouad added.
LiFi Gets Power Boost with Signify’s TruLiFi System
Earlier this year, illumination giant Signify launched its landmark LiFi-based system called TruLiFi. The LiFi system promises to revolutionize the LED industry as it combines the energy efficiency of LED lighting solutions with secure, reliable, and ultra-fast wireless connections. Using the LiFi system, it promises speeds of up to 250 Mbps for both downlink and uplink. This year alone, the TruLiFi system has been installed in over 100 project locations worldwide.
“Through this partnership, Signify, and Latécoère will transform the passenger cabin experience by providing them with the latest connectivity technology,” said Olivia Qiu, Director of Innovation at Signify as part of the announcement of the newly-formed partnership. “(The) TruLiFi has enormous potential, and our ambition is, in addition to aircraft, to also provide this technology to other forms of public transport, so that users have access to a reliable, secure, and fast internet connection wherever they are.”
LiFi connections on-board the aircraft will occur in two steps, beginning with the use of TruLiFi to connect media players located on the headrests. The second step will involve connecting own passengers’ devices with the LiFi system on board so they can start using the connection for embedded media and the internet. It can also be used to connect with others on board, which will have the same experience in their connectivity whether onboard or on the ground.
The Industrialization Phase with Huneed Technologies
As the third major partner, South Korean Huneed Technologies will take over the development and production of the passenger distribution unit and fiber optic router. Huneed Technologies is an expert on tactical communications equipment and aerospace. With the company’s expertise, it is expected to play a major role in fast-tracking the industrialization of LiFi, especially in the infrastructure installed in rooms manufactured by Latécoère.
On the announcement of the partnership, Eugene Kim, President of Huneed Technologies spoke and said: “We are thrilled to be recognized by Latécoère for our expertise in communication technology and knowledge production in the context of this innovative partnership.”
“This opportunity is a perfect fit with our strategy to globally expand our business in the aerospace to commercial aviation,” Kim added. “Huneed will supply LiFi’s electronics and data communications software to enable widespread adoption of this technology, which will play a critical role in the next generation of smart booths to deliver the best possible passenger experience.”
Latécoère is a major partner of Tier 1 international aircraft manufacturers such as Airbus, Embraer, Dassault, Boeing, Bombadier, and many other companies involved within the aeronautic market, whether it’s commercial, regional, or has military connections. Supplies provided by Latécoère include:
Aerostructures (58% of total turnover): fuselage sections and doors.
Interconnect systems (42% of total revenue): embedded cabling, bundles electric, and avionics.
Signify is a worldwide leader in overhead illumination. For over 125 years, the company formerly known as Philips Lighting has been one of the best innovators in the lighting industry. Today, the company has changed its name to Signify as it aims to venture into the Visible Light Communications (VLC) sector. While it shifts to producing technology based on visible light, it still maintains its focus on providing quality, energy-efficient lighting products that will revolutionize the world. And as the company would like to say, its purpose is to “unlock the extraordinary potential of light for Brighter Lives and a Better World.” With its rich history and focus on innovation through heavy investments in research and development, Signify is poised to revolutionize the VLC industry and be the top player for the Internet of Things (IoT).
Huneed Technologies is a South Korean tech company known for its development and manufacture of tactical wireless systems used by the South Korean military. For the past 10 years, the company has completely transitioned from a small tech manufacturer of avionics into being one of the leading global suppliers to Boeing Defense and Space. For its contributions to the aviation industry, it was awarded the Boeing Performance Excellence award in 2016 along with a Boeing Supplier of the Year nomination, which cemented the company’s legacy as a well-trusted supplier in global aviation.