Connectivity

Airborne Wireless Network Signs Development Partner for Laser-based Comm

By S.L. Fuller | August 25, 2017

Image: Airborne Wireless Network

Image courtesy of Airborne Wireless Network

Airborne Wireless Network (AWN) and ViaLight Communications have teamed for hybrid radio frequency laser-based communication, AWN said. The two have entered into a design and manufacturing services agreement for the development of the communication system.

“With this agreement, we can capitalize on ViaLight's experience and expertise. [AWN's] new hybrid approach and the expertise provided by ViaLight should help mitigate challenges and have a significant impact on [AWN's] ability to launch its proposed global airborne wireless meshed network,” said Michael Warren, CEO of AWN. “[AWN] and ViaLight envision a future where high data rate connectivity in the skies and beyond is as natural as on the ground and we believe this collaboration will enable this vision to move forward.”

ViaLight is set to develop, design, test and manufacture a customized hybrid synchronized laser-based communication system for AWN. This would be used to link neighboring aircraft and/or ground stations on the company’s Infinitus Super Highway. The aircraft and ground stations would “form a chain of seamless repeaters or routers,” AWN said, “providing broadband wireless communication gateways” along the flight path.

In May, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted AWN an experimental operation certification for its system. The intended flight-test operating area is near Roswell, New Mexico. The tests would involve two Boeing testbed aircraft.

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