With the growing demand for data connectivity and limitations of current airborne network solutions, the Aviation Full-Duplex Switched Ethernet (AFDX) protocol developed by Airbus has emerged as a networking method for safety-critical applications that use dedicated bandwidth and providing deterministic Quality of Service (QoS).

An advanced, distributed real-time IP networking platform known as ‘Orion’, developed in Israel by ORBIT Communications Systems, implements AFDX, IP and Ethernet protocols with proprietary, patented methods to establish a switchless, real-time, distributed airborne network. The patented dual IP ring topology used in this system provides inherent scalability and redundancy, offering unique safety features.

Orion was designed as a certifiable system for aviation standards and, therefore applicable to numerous aerospace applications. Previous generations of ORBIT’s Communications Management Systems are operating on more than 3,500 military, commercial and business aircraft and helicopters.

“The Orion has many possible applications for airborne platforms however at this stage we are focused on specific audio and video management applications that bring forward the systems’ advantages while leveraging ORBIT’s past experience and brand equity,” Eitan Shabbat, VP Airborne Communications Solutions at ORBIT said. For example, Orion Jet, Transport and Airliner designed to provide audio management in combat aircraft and trainers, helicopters, transport planes, and commercial planes. Orion Video is providing airborne video distribution and management, for special mission aircraft, Search and Rescue (SAR) helicopters and for cabin and cargo monitoring in commercial airliners.