Enhanced Next Generation Wireless

Wi-SKY Inflight has developed a break-through radio technology that currently delivers 45 megabits per second (Mbps) to every plane in the sky, simultaneously. The exisiting system is currently being modified to increase the data rate to a full 100 Mbps at more than 100 miles from the ground transmission site.

The core technology of next generation wireless (4G) is Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM). OFDM means dividing the signal into beams and then multiplexing them together with radio software. A small beam receives a greater power allocation from the radio than would be allocated if the radio were making an even distribution as does current 2G or 3G cellular technologies. The increased power allocation of OFDM results in greater throughput for the radio. Interoperable 4G radios can typically transmit a non-line-of-site signal 7 to 10 miles though obstructions (buildings, trees, etc.), and 25 to 35 miles without line of sight (LOS) impedance. 

A standard OFDM radio is not able to reach an aircraft flying at jet speed or at significant range. Wi-SKY has achieved this previously impossible feat by making significant modifications to OFDM in highly-innovative and proprietary ways.

Ground Network

The nerve network of Wi-SKY’s air-to-ground system is our Terrestrial Network of radio base stations. These ground access points connect the aircraft through the Terrestrial Network to the Internet.

Base stations: Each base station will have a Wi-SKY radio system with upward-faced antennas. Because of the radio’s range, the ground transmission sites can be between 200 and 250 miles apart. This means the entire continental US can be covered with about 125 base stations.

Backhaul: Each base station will be connected to the Internet with a 100 Mbps ground data link. The base stations will be customized for Wi-SKY’s application since no existing tower network is capable of supporting our extreme bandwidth. As demand increases, that backhaul will be increased to accommodate the full service needs of each aircraft. In congested areas, bandwidth will be adjusted to peak passenger loads.

Handoff: The network will be managed by a Wi-SKY Network Operating Center (NOC) to connect all the base stations. The software at the NOC will perform the following functions: billing, login, quality of service, and most importantly, seamless handoff of connection from aircraft to aircraft. Handoff is accomplished by routing the Internet connection to the base station that has the strongest signal with an aircraft (a network node).

Hardware

Innovative architecture: Pivotal to Wi-SKY’s enhanced 4G modifications is a custom-built digital radio board (like a motherboard), comprised of state-of-the-art components.

Efficient design: The Wi-SKY radio weighs less than 20 pounds and features a small footprint, easy installation and low maintenance, making it the most cost-efficient aircraft connectivity solution on the market today.

Multi-faceted: Many critical features are combined in the same radio:

  • 1.) Modified beam forming, to achieve a more focused signal than the standard OFDM, with a custom power allocation algorithm.
  • 2.) Dual spectrum capability, to operate 2.4 MHz and 5.8 MHz interchangeably throughout the world.

Software

Versatility: The radio is software-driven, meaning future performance enhancements can be downloaded via the live network.

Performance: Most of the standard 4G radio software has been rewritten to drive the custom Wi-SKY performance applications.

Efficiency: The interface between the Media Access Control (MAC) and the physical digital board (PHY) has been optimized to outperform typical 4G radios in distance and throughput. This custom integration also reduces unnecessary MAC overhead and facilitates the Wi-SKY radio’s high performance.

Smart Antenna

Line of Site (LOS): One of the reasons the Wi-SKY system is so much more robust than a standard 4G radio is that it’s an LOS application. Aiming the 4G antenna vertically to an aircraft encounters little or no competing signal noise. Antennae for a vertical application can be positioned on almost any rooftop with a clear view of the horizon. This makes the deployment of ground site base stations simplified, economical and timely. 

Unique ground antenna: The Wi-SKY communication system is capable of tracking multiple planes simultaneously from the horizon to overhead in a 360 degree radiance. To accomplish this, the system features an antenna with multiple transmit/receive elements. Each of these elements is capable of delivering 100 Mbps at 100 miles distance to and from the aircraft.

The ability of the radio to eliminate the interference in license-exempt spectrum also enables the antenna to use the identical frequency for each aircraft. This means each and every aircraft gets 100 Mbps simultaneously. By comparison, the maximum throughput per satellite allocated to aircraft is 30 Mbps to cover an entire continent

The Wi-SKY antenna at each base station has the capacity to track every aircraft in the coverage area, 100 miles on the horizon to 5 miles overhead. An aircraft's distance from a ground station changes rapidly as it flies overhead. Aircraft detection and tracking are the most significant achievements of this custom antenna, achieved by our specialized, unique and proprietary base stations.

Aircraft antenna interface: The aircraft antennas utilized in the Wi-SKY communication system are standard FAA-approved hardware. The custom radio features integrate with the antenna to enable aircraft tracking by the base station. This interface is vital to the delivery of data at 100 Mbps up to 100 miles.

FAA Compliance

The typically long and arduous FAA certification process is streamlined by the Wi-SKY radio features, which include the following pre-certified elements:

  • FAA pre-certified 4-MCU enclosure
  • Cables, connector and conduit
  • Aircraft external antennas
  • Rear-mounted aircraft equipment rack
  • Ruggedized radio components and connections
  • Embedded operating system

The only portion of the radio not pre-certified is Wi-SKY’s custom, proprietary digital board and components, which are solid state with no moving parts.

Never Before Possible

  • Black box monitoring by ground engineers
  • Live weather graphics uploaded to cockpit
  • Enhanced preventive maintenance monitoring
  • Wide open and free web surfing
  • Inflight medical emergency data feeds

Contact

Wi-SKY Inflight, Inc.
5 Concourse Parkway
Suite 3000
Atlanta, GA 30328