If you recently traveled in international flights or different in-country flight, you may have seen that you can access Wi-Fi in the board during the flight. Earlier the situation was not there. The passengers had to switched off their mobile phone and laptop etc different digital devices during on boarding or flight take off. People used to read printed magazines during the flight. But airbus companies have tried lot of different things to make flying a little more comfortable and enjoyable to offer the in-flight internet. In couple of years the technological advancement also now gives decent speeds during the flight to the passengers. But how exactly it works? How it maintains uninterruptible data exchange services to users while your flight is flying over thousands feet over the sea.

To bring connectivity given to each flying passenger,  the air-planes need to first establish a connection to an Internet source. This is mostly done using either a satellite or air-to-ground network. Once a connection is established with a given intenet source, connectivity is started to passengers via seat back systems, Wi-Fi hotspots and wireless phone signals.

Air-to-Ground


Image Courtsey Connected Altitude.com

This is very popular mechanism to enable the internet. In this mechanism the flight while flying above ground can connect directly to the ground-based cellular networks. In that way it can access the on ground networks to provide the internet to on board passengers. In that users can enjoy the basic internet functionality like  browsing the web, messaging or email. An antenna also gets connected at the bottom of the plane that transmits and receives internet signals to and from towers on the ground (low-power ground transceivers). As the plane keeps flying along its route, the signal is constantly supplied by the nearest signal source on the ground. When flying over water, planes are beyond the reach of these networks. That time majority of times it goes off.

Satellite


Unlike air-to-ground networks, satellite networks enables the aircraft to access the connectivity anywhere around the globe – either it is over the land or over the water. This enables the passengers to enjoy complete connectivity on all their wireless devices, and even you can  stream youtube or Live TV programe during transcontinental and other long-haul flights.

In this situation, a little satellite radio antenna is connected at the highest point of the plane’s which speaks with a satellite in circle over the earth. That satellite, which keeps up a steady association with a ground station, goes about as a scaffold to supply the plane with a live connect to the Internet. As the plane moves along its characterized course, the closest satellite in circle supplies the association with the plane.

Satellite systems transmit information at various recurrence groups, with the measure of accessible data transfer capacity expanding alongside the recurrence. The two regular data transfer capacities utilized for in-flight network today are L-band and Ku-band. L-band – now and then alluded to as narrow band – works at a recurrence transfer speed between 1-2 GHz, and has just 30 MHz apportioned for utilize. Similarly, Ku-band systems use 500 MHz of recurrence transfer speed between 11-14.5 GHz. Another broadband system being developed for in-flight network in coming years is Ka-band, with a recurrence scope of 19-31 GHz and 500 MHz allotted for utilize. Both narrowband and broadband systems are fit for giving worldwide satellite scope.

In this “How It Works” section article we have looked how the Wi-Fi works in the airplane in current ways. 

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