Posted on: 01 September 2010 by Ross McSweeny
The IMS Company plans to show its latest embedded data loaders with significantly faster content load speeds, increased storage capacity and the ability to interface with multiple IFE systems at the WAEA exhibition in Long Beach.
Harry Gray, vice president sales and marketing, says the new generation TDLg4 has been delivered to a major hardware provider for use on a major international airline where it has been installed, certified, and is currently flying. More than 500 aircraft are flying with IMS data loading technology.
Combining multiple wireless and removable media capabilities in a compact, lightweight, low power solution, IMS’ new TDLg4 puts the emphasis on increasing content load speeds and storage capacity along with labour-saving automation, he says.
“With gigabit ethernet and an optional fibre channel, on-aircraft content loading is twice the speed of the earlier product, and the on-the-ground speed to prepare the load set for the fleet is three to five times better,” says Gray. “We have also replaced the removable hard disc drive with secure digital (SD) media, which provides higher reliability, lower cost of ownership, and reduced certification costs for upgrades to higher capacity media."
These capabilities "recognise that content load sets in IFE are increasing, and that more and more airlines are using time-sensitive content throughout the month, like daily news,” Gray observes. “The TDLg4 provides the means to process larger monthly content load sets with faster loading speeds, as well as daily and multiple-times daily news during short stays on the tarmac. At the same time we have increased the speed and size of data offloads.
“No other data loader in IFE combines the multiple ingest capability of wireless and removable media in a single LRU with ‘Insert-and-Go’ functionality. The upgrade from Hard Disk Drives to SD technology is truly paradigm-changing.”
TDLg4 also provides dual mini-pc express ports that support two wireless cards with 3G cellular (CDMA, revA, GSM, and HSPDA), WiMAX, and 802.11 a/b/g/n, according to Gray. Diversity antennas are supported for 802.11 connections.
The data loader’s wireless capabilities help to automate the IFE content delivery supply chain and data offloading processes at a time when cost-conscious airlines are looking for alternatives to the SneakerNet, observes Gray: “Even the use of removable media is more efficient as it is essentially ‘insert-and-go’ technology rather than a technician typing instructions into a laptop. And it is no longer necessary to have technicians standing by at the end of a flight to manually offload data since the TDLg4 offloads this data automatically and sends it to your network for secure but easy access.”
In addition to wireless and high-speed content loading, TDLs support the capture and offloading of BIT/BITE data, content load status, system conformity, and IFE system logs for IFE health monitoring, says Gray, and assists in system/LRU diagnostics and troubleshooting.