Scott Carmichael

Earlier this week, we introduced you to the new Gogo Inflight Internet Portfolio – a new way of describing our entire portfolio of products and services. In that framework, we mentioned the Gogo FLEX Inflight System as the heart of what makes our technology work so well together. In this article, we’re going to dig a bit deeper into the FLEX Inflight System, and what it means for our airline partners, their crew and their passengers.

The Gogo FLEX Inflight System comprises all of the onboard hardware and software required to deliver and manage inflight connectivity for the aircraft:

In the image you see here, all of the blue components are considered parts of the Gogo FLEX Inflight System, and in this article we’ll take a closer look at what their roles are. The components belong to one of these three categories:

  • Access technology
  • System software
  • In-cabin network
  • Inflight network

Access technology

As the demand for bandwidth increases on the ground, the same is happening in flight. Both airlines and their passengers are using new applications that demand much more bandwidth on a variety of innovative new hardware. Some of these are used for entertainment (like streaming video) while others focus on business applications like remote desktop and VPN access.

The Gogo FLEX Inflight System currently offers two innovative access technologies: 2Ku and ATG-NG:

Gogo 2Ku is designed for large and wide-body aircraft on global flight routes, and utilizes an innovative modem and antenna solution to deliver significantly higher bandwidth to aircraft. The antenna offers 4x the surface area of a traditional gimbaled antenna for far greater throughput.

The future of our regional ground-based network is ATG-NG. This technology combines our existing ATG-4 network (850MHz) with a new economical, lightweight antenna system. This new antenna is comprised of unique beamforming LTE technology connecting to unlicensed spectrum in the 2.4GHz band. Additional hardware components include the Gogo Airborne Modem Controller and our in-cabin network.

System Software

While some aviation satellite solutions utilize off-the-shelf components, the Gogo system combines advanced custom hardware with truly remarkable software. This often overlooked part of any advanced system runs in the background, managing some of the most important parts of the solution. Gogo’s FLEX Inflight System incorporates two different software products that power the inflight experience: Gogo FLEX OS and Gogo FLEX Developer.

Gogo FLEX OS is an incredibly advanced operating system that manages all of our inflight hardware as well as the inflight portal experience. Because the software operates in such an extreme environment, the system is built to be extremely reliable and meets a very high level of enterprise security. Running on our rugged custom airborne computer, the software controls virtually every aspect of the Gogo inflight experience.

Gogo FLEX Developer is at the heart of our open architecture. With Gogo FLEX Developer, airlines can take advantage of Gogo’s API’s (application programming interfaces) and SDK’s (software development kits) to bring system development in-house or to third party developers. With our experience in developing for the platform, we are able to assist with swift development cycles, greatly reducing time-to-market of new inflight services.

Our three-pronged approach manages development from the build phase, to the testing phase and finally to deployment.

Thanks to our advanced tools, airlines have total control over the passenger. From custom branded passenger portals to connected inflight applications, Gogo FLEX Developer gives our airline customers everything they need to build some of the most incredible inflight experiences in the world.

With so much software running on the aircraft, Gogo also has the technology in place to ensure everything is kept up to date. New services and updates to services can be deployed to any aircraft or device, anywhere in the world via cloud technology, minimizing disruption and costs.

In-cabin network

Our in-cabin network technology has been deployed on thousands of aircraft. Our advanced scalable design is able to provide sufficient capacity for any size aircraft – from single aisle to split level. The unique architecture ensures we are always able to support the latest wireless standards, delivering service to passenger devices.

Gogo Inflight Network

None of this innovative hardware and customizable software would mean anything without access to a truly remarkable network. Gogo provides two different solutions: Regional Air-to-Ground and Global Satellite.

Each of these networks helps Gogo provide options based off the fleet, routes, bandwidth requirements and many other factors. With our decades-long experience in network management and optimization, airlines can rest assured that their passengers will have access to the best possible network from Gogo, The Inflight Internet Company.

 

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