Continuing momentum for the i+sCabin2.0 research project

Beginning in 2018, the i+sCabin research project, conducted by several participating companies and institutions in commercial aviation, revealed a new data solution in the passenger aircraft cabin. The project focused on networked components such as galleys, toilets, seats, surfaces, and overhead bins that were enabled with technology to be able to provide and exchange information. The original prototype solution was tested on Boeing’s 2019 ecoDemonstrator airplane.  For the first time, this project created the basis for recording the technical condition of the aircraft cabin at a glance. The results of the initial research project were so promising that the alliance partners quickly agreed to launch a follow-up project.

The approach of the new i+sCabin2.0 research project is to enable sharing of data obtained from the cabin with ground stations during the flight for automated processing and evaluation using artificial intelligence.

A key driver behind this research project is to make air travel even safer and more passenger-friendly. The smart cabin will generate and network comprehensive information from highly developed systems and sensors to provide an updated overall picture of the cabin's condition. Airlines will be able to retrieve this information about the overall cabin environment and make maintenance service decisions in real time.  This data will also enable new levels of preventive maintenance. A wireless smart cabin network, designed as an open platform, will connect the smart applications, seats, galleys, toilets and surfaces. The smart applications will identify the current status of systems, and provide an advance prediction of systems that may need to be repaired or replaced. This information will help airlines conduct preventive maintenance to ensure the availability and reliability of the cabin equipment and its many functions.

A smart networked cabin that communicates with the ground can optimize maintenance planning, increase airplane availability, digitize and standardize processes, and ultimately help keep airplanes running on schedule and passengers satisfied with their flying experiences.

Other applications are in development to connect passengers and flight attendants. These new functions will significantly improve comfort, service and cabin processes, by anticipating passengers' needs.

As a partner in the i+sCabin2.0 research project, Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen is focused on creating an operational digital twin of the aircraft cabin to improve maintenance and records management processes for airlines and aircraft lessors. Data from connected components can easily be captured, analyzed for preventive maintenance requirements and used to monitor and report the condition of the cabin.

While earlier research addressed onboard cabin communications, Jeppesen and its partners are now investigating how data can be transferred from the cabin to a ground maintenance system to enable maintenance data analytics. Jeppesen uses knowledge gained from onboard data analytics using edge computing to provide real-time status updates.

Standardization is also a key priority for the research, with a goal to generate a generic standardized platform for the implementation of digital products and services for passengers, crew and maintenance operations. A standardized software application hosting environment designed to accommodate applications from manufacturers, OEMs, and service providers running on an onboard cabin server will provide operational efficiency benefits to airplane operators.

Jeppesen will also provide their cabin demonstrator to integrate and test all hardware and software solutions from the i+sCabin2.0 partners.

About the i+SCabin2.0 research project:

Under the joint leadership of the German aerospace supplier Diehl Aerospace, a large number of companies – even competitors – have joined forces to work on achieving these ambitious goals. Industrial alliance partners are Bühler Motor Aviation GmbH, Diehl Aerospace (alliance leader), Diehl Aviation, Jeppesen GmbH, Safran Cabin Germany GmbH and Thales Deutschland GmbH. The Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University and the Hamburg University of Technology are involved as scientific alliance partners. Subcontractors are ANS GmbH, Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration, LightnTec GmbH, SWMS Systemtechnik Ingenieurgesellschaft, Technical University of Darmstadt, Technische Universität Dresden, TUTECH Innovation GmbH, and Zentrum für Angewandte Luftfahrtforschung GmbH.

Associate partners are Airbus Operations GmbH, ANS GmbH, The Boeing Company, NEVEON Austria GmbH, and Thales.