Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Modulable seat terminal architecture with CPU board attached to video screen

The development of an open-system architecture is a key achievement of the ANAIS project. The seat terminal extends this principle by reducing the seat mounted equipment to two functional blocks. An Integrated display and processor module for seatback or deployment arm mounting and a single data hub for arm mounting providing connectivity for any combination of Passenger Control Unit (PCU, Audio module with noise cancellation, Telephone, Games controller, Keyboard and mouse or carry-on equipment such as laptop computer or PDA.

In economy class the display unit is usually mounted in the seatback in front of the passenger while the remaining equipment is mounted in his own seat. In current systems this requires dedicated wiring to connect the two seats. By adopting a single datalink the seat to seat wiring is minimised and ultimately eliminated by the use of a wireless technology.

A common interface is provided for all the remaining modules. This has many benefits including:

Flexibility of installation, allowing airlines to customise their product offerings,
Improved ergonomics � by separating functions (such as audio/video control and telephone) the passenger is presented with a familiar interface which requires no instructions for use,
Interoperability � allowing competition amongst smaller specialist component suppliers to improve quality and reduce costs,
Easier maintenance and upgrade.

Current systems employ an under-seat electronics box that interfaces with all the IFE devices on typically 1-3 seats. In economy class the presence of the box severely reduces the available legroom for one of the passengers served.

The elimination of the under-seat box is possible as a result of the adoption of a digital network and hence a completely digital seat terminal. This allows the required electronics to be sufficiently reduced in size and power consumption that it can be combined with the display unit which is usually mounted in the seatback or on a deployment arm.

The testbed demonstrates an immediate improvement in some of the key performance parameters of the seat terminal (size, weight and power consumption) when compared to systems currently in-service.

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United Kingdom
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