Innovative Airborne Network Taking Flight


Innovative Airborne Network Taking Flight

By Ted Lund

Upstart communications company Airborne (ABWN, Market Cap $109.8m; 53-week hi/low $4.07/$0.72) is preparing to launch a groundbreaking new communications system with the help of commercial aircraft to create a fully-meshed broadband airborne wireless network that could help extend wireless networks and communications to first responders and underserved rural areas around the world through its Infinitus Digital Superhighway.

Airborne’s VP of Technical Affairs, Marius de Moss, is no stranger to cutting-edge communications technology. During a career spanning 43 years, de Moss has been instrumental as part of the team introducing the first full-duplex cordless home telephone (1977) which led to the development in 1982 of the wireless Airphone application, the first FAA-approved airborne in-cabin wireless commercial telephone system.

Recognizing the inherent challenges of current satellite and ground-based connectivity solutions, de Moss and his team set out to take the idea of an integrated communications network to the skies via commercial airliners.

In early May 2017, Airborne received FAA approval to begin evaluating air-to-air systems.

“The primary purpose of our proof of concept test was to prove that ABWN’s airborne mesh network is viable,” said de Moss in the February 2018 issue of MODERN TRADER. “We installed the Infinitus Digital Superhighway equipment on two Boeing 767-300ER modified jets. We then flew the jets simultaneously while passing real-time broadband data between each aircraft and a ground station.”

In essence, de Moss and his team created the first-ever non-military airborne mesh network.

Currently, the company is seeking federal regulatory approval from two agencies.

“The two U.S. government agencies that will have primary regulatory authority over our operations are the FAA and the FCC,” says de Moss. “In March 2017 we filed with the FCC for an experimental operating certificate to begin air-to-air and air-to-ground meshed network evaluations. That certificate was granted in May 2017 and allowed us to begin ground and flight radio frequency transmission testing for Infinitus.”

de Moss and his group believe that the network will provide wireless coverage in underserved rural areas.

“But that is just one of the many potential service areas or end users we may serve,” says de Moss. ”Potential customers include data service providers including larger telecommunications carriers and Internet Service Providers, including those that offer in-flight services like GoGo Inflight, rural and maritime access providers, government agencies, the Department of Defense and other large private companies seeing either to establish their own private networks or improve their existing private networks.”

Currently, Airborne is the only commercial venture pursuing moving meshed networks in conjunction with commercial airlines, and de Moss sees tremendous upside to the project.

“Assuming that our upcoming Hybrid Radio and Laser Communications Flight Test is successful, we could carry more data through the skies than is currently carried through fiber in the ground,” says de Moss. We believe that we would be able to augment and help existing Broadband capacity via global telecom or ISP companies carrying huge amounts of data from Point A to Point B.

The goal of de Moss and his team is to provide services comparable and greater speeds than current ground-based systems.

“If our upcoming Hybrid Radio and Laser Communications Flight Test is successful, we believe speeds in the gigabits per second or greater between airborne aircraft would be possible,” says de Moss. “The key is to be able to re-synchronize the laser because the data speed is so fast we can send huge packets. If it gets interrupted, we broaden the radio bandwidth and use that until the laser reestablishes itself, so it could be virtually seamless.”

For more information or updates on Airborne’s Infinitus Digital Superhighway visit



Original Source: Baret News


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