Introducing ‘YOURSpace’ and more 2016 Predictions


If you checked out this week’s BUZZ, you might have noted that Rich Salter was quoted mentioning the Lumexis Fiber Optic IFE solution – it’s no coincidence. It’s because, he is our technical commentator this week and thus is involved in IFExpress’s latest communication effort, YOURSpace. We initially called the project TekTalk, but later we thought that readers might have more to discuss than technology. But, more on that later. Lets start off with any final New Year’s Predictions from us and a couple from our readers.

More 2016 Predictions:

1. This will be the year for a real push toward inflight digital aircraft live data downloading and weather – watch Gogo and their existing ground-based communication network… not to mention newcomer SmartSky Networks (per Mary Rogozinski). Don’t forget the satellite networks too as real-time position tracking worldwide is required by 2018. Data transmission costs are going to have to drop but the value of inflight weather may offset it. See this week’s press release on Panasonic Global 4D Weather.

2. This may be the year for an aviation radio security hack… don’t think it can be done? Try this out.

3. With the next five years growth of the tech and media industry projected to grow by $500 Billion and there is no way the cabin technology can keep pace, there will be an unusual demand for inflight Internet and messaging. So much so that we predict that a big company in that space today (Like Google, Microsoft, or even Apple), outside companies who rely on the Internet and deal it to consumers for more hours than people sleep, will buy or replace certain inflight Internet provider(s) today and begin the implementation of a super Internet that will have cabin and cockpit ramifications!

4. Years back, Thales (we think) demo’ed a small OLED screen but they never rolled it out for the commercial passengers, as far as we know. But things are about to change in the personal connectivity device this year with the likes of Apple, Samsung LG and others we expect OLEDs to be a big deal. Consequently, 2016 will have an OLED solution in the passenger cabin, but we don’t know who and what as of yet!

5. One vendor will test and lab demo an 802.11ah new Wi-Fi router. The new Wi-Fi frequency standard (‘HaLow’) may be the solution to more range at less power for inflight applications. With double the range of existing antennas, it may be a solution inside long metal fuselages, that is, if it doesn’t interfere with any aviation systems that exist today. Approved with an eye for IoT WiFi solutions, it may find a home on a future plane or at the airport.

6. Christopher Elliott, Travel Write noted in an article he recently published – Travel Upgrades We Would Like to See in 2016 – “Free the Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi connection fees are the most hated charges among travelers, according to a recent survey by” “The notion that airline passengers have to pay for it is appalling,” says Megan Stetzel, a frequent traveler who writes a food blog. “For international travelers, Wi-Fi is their only way to connect with home to assure loved ones of safe arrivals or to look up hotels or transportation in the surrounding area.” “OK, maybe 2016 won’t be the year of free Wi-Fi, but more hotels are coming to terms with the fact that wireless Internet is a basic utility, like water or electricity. Charging guests extra for it is sure to trigger ill will,” stated Elliot.

7. Finally, not so much a prediction but rather a reality. With the development of devices like the SanDisk 200 GB Connect wireless stick, the need for onboard entertainment will be reduced even further with the evolution of these small form factor but large capacity carry-on devices. The SanDisk 200 GB can deliver simultaneous content for up to 3 devices wirelessly. Boy can we see some really useful and weird applications for this one! Check out this article: SanDisk Launches 200GB Connect Wireless Stick For iOS And Android Devices | Redmond Pie

Reader Predictions (anonymous & attributed):

  • “Over the next year we will see at least one mainland Chinese airline significantly enhance its service and brand, and join airlines like Singapore, Emirates and Cathay Pacific as one of the premier airlines in the world (from an in-flight experience perspective).”
  • “It seems the Amazon ECHO might be a great product for Etihad’s The Residence.”
  • “According to some sources, the release of spectrum in the 2.4GHz range for aviation is mostly focused on non-IFE systems. Things like Reading Lights, Attendant Call/Reset, PA, Emergency Lighting control, Galley status (water levels; coffee maker health; cart condition; etc.); Cabin Interphone; “Mood” lighting; etc. are being studied to go wireless and reduce overall weight of the aircraft. Internet and IFE are still too big bandwidth hogs to deal with currently. One hears that ARINC is studying how wireless can be both used and standardized for IFE and connectivity applications, but no one is saying where they are in the process. The impression is that it’s a new activity and I predict that inter aircraft wireless connectivity will be a big deal when it is integrated with IFE and passengers and the cockpit!”
  • “Beacon technology will be implemented on an aircraft in 2016! It will be used as much for counting, identifying and segmenting passengers as for pushing mobile ad campaigns.”
  • “Someone will develop a device to detect and notify crew of any personal electronic product lost or left on a plane!”
  • Certification of the wireless system onboard for flying over multiple countries could get a whole lot more complicated and expensive unless the ARINC CSS committee can put their strategy in place in 2016.” Rich Salter, CTO Lumexis


Well, we saved the best till last – the new IFExpress contributed editoral and it is called ‘YOURSpace’.

Yes, we want to try an experiment – your input. We want you to think about submitting a 300 to 500 word message in IFExpress.  After polling a number of our readers and advertisers, they jumped on the idea and we already have a number submissions to pass along to you and will do so in the coming months. Of course, we have the final say if your article runs but we expect nothing but good inputs for your story, message, sales pitch, inflight research project, future IFE view, industry observations, comments & suggestions, commendations… almost anything our readers might enjoy or find interesting. If you work for a company and want to write about your product, technology, or an industry issue; you will probably need approval, so make sure that you have your business communication group’s go-ahead, because once you submit your words to IFExpress and we approve them they will be published. Each YOURSpace feature will run for two weeks and after this introductory issue, YOURSpace will be located beneath the ‘Cabin Interiors’ section in IFExpress.

Basically, try to keep your words positive, after all, that’s what we try to do. Contact Patricia at if you are interested.

When we first presented the idea to Rich Salter, CTO Lumexis Corporation he responded as the first entrant and said: “Terry – this sounds like a great idea. Yes we are interested, and I’ll send you a 300-500-word draft shortly.” Three days later we heard from Rich. So without delay, here is our inaugural  ‘YOURSpace’ feature, submitted by Rich Salter, CTO, Lumexis Corp.

Title: Recent Advancements in Fiber Optics for Onboard Use


Fiber Optics continues to advance as an enabling technology for broadband networks onboard aircraft.

Comparing fiber to copper wiring, fiber is lighter weight, produces no electromagnetic emissions, and provides huge bandwidth.   Fiber technology continues to expand, with recent developments in the areas of expanded beam (EB) contacts for cabin use, MT contact for 12-ribbon cables, and plastic optical fiber (POF) for the 777X Arinc 629 databus backbone.


Our Lumexis Fiber To The Screen® AVOD system was the first IFE system (and still the only one) to use fiber optics all the way from headend to seatend.   Since 2000, we have been using OM4 multimode fiber for 1 Gigabit cabin networks, and we use the Arinc 810 standard contact, but we are not resting on our laurels…

Figure 1: Lumexis SSU uses purple fiber optic cables.

Figure 2: Lumexis VDU has two fiber optic inputs.

The Arinc/SAE Fiber Optic Subcommittee (FOS) headed by Bob Nye, Boeing, has written a series of Arinc specifications for fiber – these will teach just about everything that you will ever want to know about using fiber onboard:

  • Arinc 802 – FIBER OPTIC CABLE

But the technological advances do not the stop there – the Arinc FOS continues to update and expand these documents as the fiber technology evolves.   Here is a summary of some recent developments:

Expanded Beam termini

The FOS has recently developed a draft of a new standard for fiber optic contacts (termini). Arinc Project Paper 845 is the document that describes the new standard expanded beam (EB) contact that is intended to be even more immune from dust contamination in the cabin.

MT termini and ribbon fiber

For applications that require even more bandwidth, the mechanical transfer (MT) termini provides 12 fibers in a linear arrangement in a single contact, and 12 glass fibers in a ribbon or circular configuration make-up a single cable.   Arinc Project Paper 846 describes the MT termini.   By the way, the next FOS meeting is in Oxnard, California on January 26-28, and it is open to all – contact for more info.

Plastic fiber

Boeing has been working with plastic optical fiber (POF) for its Arinc 629 avionics databus backbone on the new Boeing 777X aircraft.   At the IEEE Avionics and Vehicle Fiber-Optics and Photonics Conference (AVFOP) in Santa Barbara, CA, in November 2015, Kien Truong of Boeing described their research into POF and their decision to use it for the backbone network in the new 777X aircraft.

Advantages of plastic fiber are that that it is even easier to work with and terminate into connectors than glass fiber, and it is less expensive; however, it is more lossy and therefore is limited to the shorter distance runs onboard.

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