Of course, the big news with ViaSat is that Excede in the Air, inflight Wi-Fi system, won the 2015 Crystal Cabin Award. Excede in the Air is a Ka-broadband service offering primarily focused in the USA today with customers JetBlue and United. ViaSat1 offers 140 GB per second total satellite capacity. ViaSat builds the antenna, server and modem for the system, while the WAPS are typically outsourced. Also, it should be pointed out that ViaSat offers ground, air and maritime services. The other big story to come out of AIX was the announcement of ViaSat Flexible Broadband System. This system brings a new level of flexibility, high capacity and affordability to service providers and is specifically tailored to the small operator. ViaSat and Boeing are also adapting a ViaSat2 based payload to the Boeing 702SP (small platform) satellite bus to provide affordable and flexible satellite broadband anywhere in the world. Don Buchman stated, “The current technology is not smart spot-to-spot. The next generation satellite can move the spot to where the demand is, which is why we call it flexible.” The advantage of a network system is that it can quickly shift, or ad capacity, to markets where demand grows and/or changes. Excede is designed to outperform other satellite systems by economically delivering more and cheaper bits. Typically it has 100 times the capacity of Ku-band system offerings and over 10 times the throughput of any previous Ka-band satellite. The results – service that is 8x faster than traditional satellite Internet service. This translates to an estimated burst demand of up to 12 mbps per passenger. The management is done at the NOC and the modem.

As you probably know, W.L. GORE & Associates is a technology driven enterprise that focuses on discovery and product innovation, specifically the cable and fiber optic arenas. IFE vendors and airlines have benefited from greater bandwidth and lighter weight. The company’s portfolio includes everything from high performance fabrics (think GORETEX) to aerospace electronics. At AIX GORE discussed a new fiber optic cable that they have developed. In general terms, the cable offers increased flexibility, higher bandwidth, and easier connector interfacing. Without getting too technical there are at least two issues facing fiber: 1) If the fiber is bound too tightly (coat and bond) there is a potential for stress on the fiber creating breaks. 2) If the fiber is bound loose (filled with air so the fiber can move), decoupling the glass from the outside wall, there is a potential problem for micro-bends in the tube, causing collapse. GORE’s solution was to wrap the fiber with a tape, creating a “marshmallow over the fiber”. This acts as a dry lubricant. Additionally, they use another material over this creating a casing that acts like a “crash helmet”. The resultant benefit is a flexible semi-loose tube. Furthermore on another development front, GORE is looking at Plastic Optical Fiber (POF). POF is very rugged and can bend without snapping. It can be plugged and fixed without heat, and with POF you can cut and glue a termination and plug it in. The downside is 2DB/100 meters but from a sheer bandwidth perspective it is 10x worse than glass. POF is new to the industry but it is a very big deal. Stay tuned on this one.

We thought you might like a review of the new Lumexis IPAX system that we experienced at AIX – complete with prices. In the words of Lumexis: IPAX provides unprecedented revenue potential for the single aisle marketplace (both retrofit and linefit). It is ultra, ultra low cost; ultra, ultra light weight; optimized for LCCs seeking ancillary revenue; and focused on short to medium haul operations. The base system is $1495 per seat, weighing in at 8.9 oz per screen. Lumexis states that IPAX weighs 8.9 oz less an iPad mini. The system uses a responsive OLED touch screen and will feature TV, video, shorts, music, and moving map. There will also be the capability for food and drink sales in the GUI. The system is a hybrid, offering stored content at the seat with 64GB of local storage, but also features a Wi-Fi feature for connectivity. Lumexis states that the only wire running to the screen is for power. IPAX options include a 2.1 amp USB port with reversible jack ($295/screen); as well as, an optional screen reader at the seat ($295). Both added features bundled are offered for $395. Lumexis really sees these options as driving the ancillary revenue opportunity of IPAX. The company states they are well along the development path with first delivery slated for 4Q15. Installations will take a 2 consecutive night layover: The first night will be 3 WAPS (a 4th might be needed) and the second night will be for seats/screens. Edward Shapiro (pictured with Lou Sharkey) – VP PAR Capital stated: “Other companies won’t cannibalize their system to develop a low cost product. Apple does but their price doesn’t go down like ours did!”

Last week we ran some great pictures of KID Systems seat-back concepts: and yes they were only concepts! On a separate note, we stated that they were working Lufthansa Technik and Qantas – not so reports KID. Mea Culpa!

Looking for an Executive Engineer?

If you are looking for Executive Engineering Level – Director or VP, perhaps a candidate we know might be of help to your organization. He wrote: “I can bring a new outlook to an existing organization, leadership through change, all while providing consistent results in technical product development. In summary, I have 25 years experience in IFE and Connectivity, during this time, I have developed innovated solutions and lead teams of highly motivated technical experts delivering solutions to meet the customer needs, all within budget. My expertise ranges from Systems, Software, Hardware, and Aircraft Installations areas. I was instrumental in the transformation and growth of several key technical organizations, as seen with my leadership of both Systems and Software Engineering. My objective is to attain quick results, being a key change agent and efficiently leading teams by using the latest techniques, such as Agile methodology and SAFe development process.” IFExpress knows the caliber of this applicant and strongly recommend him. If you express interest to, we will be happy to supply a resume.

Ewing, N.J. | February 4, 2014– Universal Display Corporation(Nasdaq: OLED), enabling energy-efficient displays and lighting with itsUniversalPHOLED® technology and materials, today announced it exhibited with partner IDD Aerospace/Zodiac Lighting Solutions a white OLED lighting prototype for aircraft interiors at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) eleventh annual Solid-State Lighting (SSL) R&D Workshop in Tampa, FL. The workshop took place January 28–30, 2014.

In June 2013, Universal Display was awarded a $225,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I program from the DOE. Under the program, titled “Novel Energy-Saving Phosphorescent OLED Lighting Products,” Universal Display partnered with and subcontracted IDD Aerospace/Zodiac Lighting Solutions to evaluate and demonstrate the potential for energy-efficient and cost-effective white OLED lighting panels for aircraft interiors.

The shelf utility OLED prototype displayed at DOE’s R&D Workshop demonstrated a very slim and energy efficient lighting solution for aircraft interiors. The companies believe that the data generated by developing this shelf utility light may be applied to larger-scale OLED lighting aircraft projects, including cabin applications for interior furniture, galley, interior structure enhancements, as well as other potential adoptions in cabin accent, task, ceiling and sidewall lighting, and sign backlighting.

“We are looking forward to adapting OLEDs into the aircraft environment as an innovative and welcome change in aviation. Our lighting enhances our customers’ experience and modifies how we think about lighting and what it can provide. It is exciting to be working on the first prototype for aircraft interiors, and we are looking forward to continuing our partnership with UDC,” said Beth DeYoung, General Manager, IDD Aerospace/Zodiac Lighting Solutions.

“We are excited to have showcased this energy-saving shelf utility OLED lighting prototype for aircraft interiors, which is a result of our collaboration with IDD Aerospace/Zodiac Lighting Solutions,” said Steven V. Abramson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Universal Display. “OLED lighting offers several significant advantages over current fluorescent, incandescent and LED lighting technologies, from reducing an aircraft’s carbon footprint, lowering fuel consumption to opening up the design restrictions of current lighting solutions. Universal Display is focused on developing and furthering energy efficient, thin, lightweight OLED lighting solutions for this market, and we believe this prototype demonstrates the potential for high-efficiency, high-performance PHOLED lighting panels in aircraft utility lighting applications.”

The DOE has made a long-term commitment to the development and introduction of energy-efficient, solid-state white lighting. Universal Display is a recognized leader in OLED technologies, and its UniversalPHOLED technology and materials have been essential to demonstrating high performance white OLED lighting panels that meet the DOE’s solid-state lighting targets. Additionally, Universal Display is at the forefront of developing complementary OLED technologies, including light extraction, thin-film encapsulation, and flexible OLED technologies.

To see how Universal Display is changing the face of the display and lighting industries with its UniversalPHOLED®, white OLED, and flexible OLED technologies, please visit the company’s website at

Hamburg, Germany | February 11, 2014– According to Richard Bower, Group Commercial Director at AIM Aviation; “Aircraft Interiors Expo provides the opportunity for us to meet face to face with customers and suppliers, both existing and potential. It is a lively mix of the established, the innovative and the influential”. This sentiment is echoed by many within the lighting/LED community of the aircraft interiors market and will be evident from 8-10 April as Hamburg Messe hosts the 15th edition of Aircraft Interiors Expo – the largest global showcase dedicated to the cabin interiors industry.

Following recent successful editions characterised by growing attendance, Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014 – organised by Reed Exhibitions – will once again offer exhibitors the ideal platform to demonstrate the latest developments in aircraft interior lighting.  Already major players such as Aim Aviation, Astronics, B/E Aerospace, BAE Systems, Diehl Aerospace, Emteq, Leki Aviation and STG Aerospace have confirmed their attendance; and a number have indicated their intention to introduce new products, concepts and philosophies in order to keep pace with the rapid developments affecting this sector.

Driving factors behind this trend for innovation became apparent following an STG Aerospace survey which found that: for one-in-four operators, emergency lighting systems are problematic as incandescent bulbs and Ni-cd batteries frequently fail; for nine out of ten respondents, a battery’s average life expectancy was less than 6 years; and two-thirds of respondents rated maintenance of emergency lighting batteries as a significant or very significant issue. Such industry sentiment, in conjunction with the desire to maximise onboard weight loss, reduce maintenance costs and embrace photo-luminescent/LED technology has motivated significant technological development.

“The future of lighting, as with all cabin interior details, is the blending of function and form”, said Mr Bower. Where there are physical limits to what can be achieved in terms of furniture and structures in an aircraft, the possibilities of lighting for setting mood, zoning areas and creating identity, are limitless.”

Consequently, AIM Aviation will this year be exhibiting a concept interior in order to introduce a host of new designs, layouts and materials for cabin interiors. One of the first companies to bring therapeutic mood lighting to aircraft interiors, since 1995 AIM Aviation has been a leader in the lighting sector; certifying digital, multi-channel, modular light controllers and light sources, whilst introducing innovative lighting schemes. The company’s concept interior will include lighting solutions for the bar-top itself, shelf storage and display solutions, kick panel lighting, ambiance lighting, and attractive functional lighting for crew areas.

Meanwhile Leki Aviation will display its latest LED solution which enjoys high reliability and a heavily extended life cycle. A thought-leader in the field of LED development, Leki Aviation in conjunction with CML Innovative Technologies is looking to strengthen its position as a leading LED specialist by expanding its range of state-of-the-art products. Its latest products, present at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014, offer ‘plug-and-play’ bi-pin LED solutions for Boeing applications; including exit signs, no smoking/fasten seat belt (NSFSB) signs and attendant call lights. The new solutions enjoy an effective life of 50,000 hours – more than seven times that of an average incandescent lamp – and are intrinsically resistant to shock and vibration, whilst consuming 75% less power than traditional lighting technologies.

STG Aerospace will be showcasing the latest variants of its celebrated SafTglo range – one of the world’s leading photo-luminescent emergency floor-path marking systems. Already installed in over 8,000 aircraft, the product is available in two widths, two profiles and up to 300 different colours. Its unique sealed design eliminates fluid ingress, whilst remaining a reliable and cost-effective alternative to electrical systems. The company are proud to offer digital spectrum analytics in order to create bespoke colour options which compliment distinctive cabin decors and corporate branding. STG’s stand will also include new products such as maintenance-free emergency power supply packs and ‘easy-install’ LED lighting systems.

“With lighting playing such a key role in passenger comfort, it’s no wonder that this segment is attracting so much development and innovation”, said Event Director Katie Murphy. “It provides yet another plank in Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014’s platform of growth joining; a dedicated IFE Zone which is 25% larger than in 2013, the eight edition of the prestigious Crystal Cabin Awards and the second Passenger Experience Conference – it is hardly surprising therefore that the show is already 97% sold out”.

For more information please visit

You have probably read a lot about the recent developments of LED lighting in aircraft cabins because they are a perfect fit with airplane requirements… reliable, low power, lightweight system requirements, tons of colors, virtually no heat, and now many suppliers. As you might imagine, there is a technology development on the scene that will also provide some of the many features of LED’s with some improvements and future potential positive impacts on airplane cabin lighting – Organic Light Emitting Diodes, or OLEDS. Before we get into what they are and how they work, lets look at what the fuss is all about based on the relative light output (based in Lumens Per Watt) and how they stack up today with other sources of lighting all commercial available:

LIGHTING TYPE (Lumens Per Watt)
Incandescent (filament) 20 LPW
Compact Fluorescent 65 LPW
LED 100 – 150 LPW
Linear Fluorescent 100 LPW

Obviously the OLED developments have evolved in the last few years but compared to LED’s they are on a fast track. For example, the first red LED’s came along in 1962 so we have had some 50 years of development in LED research, design, fabrication, and worldwide sales. Kodak discovered organic polymer glow phenomenon but it wasn’t until 1987 that the Given that the first OLED in 1990. Some say this is another “Edison” moment! And since we have introduced the device, here is a technical description of what we are talking about from Wikipedia:

“An OLED (organic light-emitting diode) is a light-emitting diode (LED) in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compound which emits light in response to an electric current. This layer of organic semiconductor is situated between two electrodes. Generally, at least one of these electrodes is transparent. OLEDs are used to create digital displays in devices such as television screens, computer monitors, portable systems such as mobile phones, handheld games consoles and PDAs. A major area of research is the development of white OLED devices for use in solid-state lighting applications.”

All this technical talk can be a bit over the top, so our simpler definition goes like this: If you can imagine a LED device as a two bonded, doped, dissimilar materials that give off photons of light when a voltage is applied and a current flows across their junction. The OLED works in a similar diode-like way, but when the photons are given off at the junction, they are radiated through a couple of layers of organic materials… the layer(s) luminesce and light is emitted. The layers being organic in nature, facilitate a fabrication that is more like a surface of light rather than a point source of light such as LEDs. Panels versus point sources – can you see the advantages of this technology? How about lighted ceiling panels, personal colored touch switch controls, and OLED video screens? Not only will there a reduction in needed power for light output (coming soon) but the thin devices (credit card thin) put out less heat.

LED Technology


OLED Technology

To produce multiple colors, various organic layers are added with smart switches in the devices to turn them on and off, thus they become video display capable and aircraft will start seeing their application in IFE systems soon. Weight, color and quality are the plus signs; price will no doubt be the negative factor. OLED Displays deliver better ‘black’ colors, images have vivid color and are sharper… not to mention, the on-off characteristics are faster – great for motion video; however, they will just cost more.

As we mentioned, there is a real effort in aviation to include this technology, both in commercial (R&D) and in business aviation (product development and sales). The folks at Flight Display Systems, who are on a lot of cutting edges of inflight technology, started offering cabin IFE controls for the entertainment systems. Further, David Gray, President of Flight Display Systems told IFExpress: “OLED technology allows a fantastic viewing angle, extreme resolution, and low power. All this is in a very small package. The future looks bright for applications that are curved and tight fitting for older technologies. For example I have a Samsung S-4 phone with a 5″ full 1080P OLED display. This quality will become the standard going forward.”

Furthermore, all this lighting technology is not lost on the commercial airline R&D folks. Universal Display has been awarded a $225,000 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I program from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Under the program, titled “Novel Energy-Saving Phosphorescent OLED Lighting Products,” Universal Display will partner with and subcontract IDD Aerospace/Zodiac Lighting Solutions to evaluate and demonstrate the potential for energy- efficient and cost-effective white OLED lighting panels for aircraft interiors. IFExpress talked to IDD about their development shelf lighting project and Beth de Young, General Manager at IDD Aerospace/Zodiac Lighting Solutions noted: “Through our partnership with Universal Display, we aim to contribute to a disruptive shift in the adoption of OLED lighting by providing a compelling early entry product. The data generated by developing this shelf utility light may be applied to larger-scale OLED lighting aircraft projects, including cabin applications for interior furniture, galley, interior structure enhancements, as well as other potential adoptions in cabin accent, task, ceiling and sidewall lighting, and sign backlighting.” Our readers should stay tuned to OLED breakthroughs for aircraft usage… LED’s and OLED’s are the stuff of future passenger cabin experience.

We should note that Phosphorescent Organic Light Emitting Diodes (PHOLED’s) are another source of potential lighting for future aircraft cabin lighting applications and by their nature can act as sheets of light in applications requiring flat, thin, lighted surfaces. As on might guess, the phosphorescence is a result of similar electrical phenomena and use organic materials that “glow”. Because of their high efficiency, we expect to see them in applications such as personal lighting first and later (as prices drop and manufacturing capability increase) as broader sources of white and colored lighting. There is a bright future for this technology and this is exactly why IFExpress is staying tuned.