Connectivity above all at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) 2023

Kontron recently exhibited at Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany, our largest Avionics tradeshow of the year. As participants for the last 14 years, it was captivating to see the industry stronger than ever on its road to recovery after Covid. Our team was thrilled to engage in conversations about the connected aircraft with major industry players once again.

This year was exceptionally different however. I sensed a remarkable transformation beginning to occur, where organizations seem to be working even closer together to prioritize a holistic customer experience. And, deriving from our discussions, all eyes were on new connectivity technology to enable it. 


Compelling passenger experiences come from choosing the right building blocks

Our solutions were on display to show the Avionics market how they can create their ideal IFE&C systems using the right building blocks. Attendees were happy to learn more about our one-stop shop for standard, modified standard, and full custom avionics products that allow them to choose how they want their IFE&C system built. They were able to see, touch and learn more about our full range of open architecture platforms meant to enable the best connectivity from the ground to the air, on the show floor:

•    Multi-access ground-based servers
•    Secure gateway systems
•    Modem managers
•    Flight servers
•    Wireless access points
•    Portable in-flight wireless systems
•    Optional middleware layer to easily port applications 

Satisfying the connected passenger

Today’s passengers expect seamless connections in the air, regardless of where they are flying to. They want to feel like they are at home in their living rooms. To enable Wi-Fi onboard local flights, airplanes simply connect to ground-based cell towers via antennas located underneath the aircraft. But offering seamless in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFE&C) on international flights where aircrafts hover above bodies of water becomes a lot more complex and expensive, and requires satellite links and open technology.

Connectivity providers stopped by our booth to discuss ways in which we can help offer passengers seamless connections everywhere, and lower costs to connect. We explained how Kontron’s end-to-end solutions are filling the gaps between in-flight Wi-Fi, satellite connectivity and the networks people use at home or on the ground.

This is what we are trying to achieve by working closely with the Seamless Air Alliance. Together with tech giants in the industry, we are helping drive cooperation between service providers by providing more options for interoperability with our open architecture platforms. 

A major industry challenge: Seamless global coverage

There were questions from attendees in the connectivity space about future-proofing their solutions with multi-orbit interoperability. Many asked about the capabilities of our dual modem MODMAN. We explained how its multi-modem architecture allows it to integrate with satcom antenna systems so they can leverage an open solution and provide more coverage. This helps future-proof their offering by having the capacity to switch between GSO and NGSO satellites and enable multi-orbit operations such as GEO, MEO and LEO.
We showed them how our hardware is designed to help companies facilitate satellite connectivity by seamlessly communicating with next-generation electronically steered antennas (ESA), offering more flexibility to work with different network service providers and keep costs low. 


Reducing the amount of space, complexity, and cost with less equipment onboard

Our servers are designed for aircraft installations with size, weight, and power constraints. Doing more with less equipment onboard not only helps customers with total cost of ownership (TCO) but also speeds up time-to-market and installation times. 

For example, the MODMAN’s dual integrated satellite modem approach eliminates the need to install a second one on the aircraft. Kontron’s powerful avionics server, which was also on display, supports extensive connectivity and brings datacenter-grade performance to the commercial aircraft in a compact platform. We also saw interest around our portable wireless streaming in-flight entertainment system for smaller deployments, which reinforces the need for a small, lightweight system that supports Containers and Virtual Machines and can be quickly installed overnight if required. 

Where we can take you next

Airlines now understand that the key to gaining more passengers on their flights is connectivity and vast coverage. The global connected aircraft market size is “projected to grow from USD 3.45 billion in 2022 to USD 16.58 billion by 2029”, according to Fortune Business Insights and Kontron prides itself in designing ultra-rugged computing platforms to address the needs of the IFE&C market today and tomorrow. 


If you’d like to learn more about how we can make your path to connectivity a smoother one, with no turbulence, reach out to us at

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