LONDON Axis Electronics, a specialist electronic manufacturing services company to the aerospace industry, has been awarded a contract to build a key system component for AeroMobile, which allows aircraft passengers to safely use their mobile phones whilst flying.
Axis (Bedford, England) has been awarded sole source manufacturing status for the AeroMobile Cell phone Radio Frequency Management Unit (CRFMU) which ensures that passengers' phones do not interfere with ground-based cellular networks, while the overall AeroMobile system ensures that cell phones operate at minimum power levels, providing safe operation with respect to aircraft systems.
Aeromobile will allow 1.5 billion potential travellers to use their own mobile phone and PDAs while on an aircraft and airlines are due to begin installing the AeroMobile system in mid 2006. AeroMobile is a joint venture between ARINC Inc and Telenor ASA of Norway.
Axis will carry out design for manufacture, complex build, test and environmental screening of the product, and will work alongside ARINC’s design partner TTP plc.
The AeroMobile solution will initially enable incoming/outgoing calls and text messages over the classic Inmarsat satellite communications systems already installed in over 1,900 airliners, but will be able to migrate to future technologies. This solution maps available bandwidth with cell phone functionality, from mobile voice and SMS through GPRS and EDGE data to live IP via always-on or dial-up access. The hardware design is based on standard avionic architecture with a cabin antenna solution. A cabin crew control panel is integral to the system and allows a crew member full control over the activation, de-activation, and mode of operation of the system—for example, the implementation of quiet times during the flight.