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Wireless communication network in airplanes

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Complete with results
Geo-spatial type
Network corridors
Project Acronym
VPN Seat
STRIA Roadmaps
Network and traffic management systems (NTM)
Transport mode
Airborne icon
Transport policies
Societal/Economic issues
Transport sectors
Passenger transport


Background & Policy context

The vision for next generation aircrafts is to provide a wireless virtual private network (VPN) for every passenger at their seat. Within this network, an integration of the passenger’s personal electronic devices is planned. So the On-board services can be controlled and used with the personal device.


It is the objective of the VPN Seat project to develop, to construct and to test an information system containing hardware and software components. In detail, the objectives are the following:

  • Development of a multi-standard hardware platform, which can operate on different types of wireless communication (Bluetooth, WLAN,…). This new interface is intended to be implemented into the passenger’s seat. Special consideration is made towards future flexibility, antenna for wireless communication, and mechanisms for localizing devices.
  • Realize and demonstrate several applications (In-flight entertainment services) to the VPN Seat system.

The VPN Seat project is divided into 4 work packages:

  • WP1- overall structure
  • WP2- multi-standard protocol
  • WP3- multi-standard hardware platform
  • WP4- applications and demonstrator


Parent Programmes
Institution Type
Public institution
Institution Name
Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi)
Type of funding
Public (national/regional/local)


According to the different work packages, the following results have been achieved:

  • WP1- overall structure: Requirements on top-level and system-level were detected, analyzed and defined in a document. Furthermore, the interfaces were defined.  
  • WP2- multi-standard protocol: A method for the selection of suitable components and keys was developed. A uniform protocol interface was established.
  • WP3- multi-standard hardware platform: Within this work package, an analysis of the requirements and specifications for the hardware platform was made. In the second step, an evaluation process led to the selection of a concrete platform concept. Furthermore, studies concerning the localization of devices were made. After discussing various concepts and simulating antennas for the wireless communication, a demonstrator of the hardware platform was build.
  • WP4- applications and demonstrator: The project team was able to develop software applications. Afterwards the interaction of hardware and software was tested and demonstrated with an operating system.

Findings of the study are published by a final report (German only), which is available online via the Technical Information Library (TIB) of the Hannover University:


Lead Organisation
EU Contribution
Partner Organisations
EU Contribution


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