Press Release: Astronics introduces new cabin network platform

SmartSky - Finally WifI that Wows

Astronics Corporation, a leading provider of advanced technologies for global aerospace, defense, and other mission critical industries, announced today the introduction of a new cabin network platform, the Edge. Enabling connectivity, inflight entertainment and other network services, the Edge eliminates the need for a traditional headend server. It provides a secure, scalable and modular environment while being cost effective and easy to install.

“The Edge truly is a system built to address the future needs of the wireless cabin. We are very excited for its release and how it will shape the future for inflight entertainment and connectivity providers,” said Michael Kuehn, President of Astronics Connectivity Systems and Certification (CSC). “By providing a redundant, fault tolerant solution, the Edge is going to lead the way for the next-generation of the connected aircraft.”

Offered by Astronics CSC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Astronics Corporation, the Edge is a distributed computing system where groups of networked computers share workloads to accomplish tasks. This allows for modularity and scalability for any size installation. The Edge system offers increased security while providing redundancy to eliminate the risk of a single point of failure within the system. This new architecture is a lightweight solution that can be installed overnight.

The Edge cabin network platform includes Edge SmartWAPs, the Aircraft IO (AIO) unit, and Solid-State Drive (SSD) content loader. The Edge SmartWAP utilizes the latest in Wi-Fi technology with an 802.11ax access point combined with a multi-core x86 processor. The AIO unit provides robust aircraft interface options and the SSD content loader provides up to 7.6 terabytes of additional/removable storage and content loading capabilities. Scalable configurations are possible, depending on needs, as up to sixteen Edge SmartWAPs and multiple AIO’s can be installed per aircraft. Together with our in-house capabilities to provide STC and aircraft integration services, the Edge is unlike any other platform currently offered in the marketplace.

A list of key features for each component includes:

Edge SmartWAP

» 7th Generation multi-core, Intel Core i3™ processor

» 16 GB DDR4 memory and up to 4 TB of SSD storage

» Latest generation enterprise-class, dual-band (802.11ax) wireless access point

» Qualified to DO-160G

Edge AIO

» Application processor, memory and storage (eMMC, M.2 SSD)

» Ethernet “bridge” for all aircraft data, including ARINC 429/717, discrete I/O, analog audio, RS485, etc.

» 4G/LTE cellular modem

» Qualified to DO-160G

Edge SSD Content Loader

» Fully autonomous solution loads content in the background at gigabit speeds

» Solid state removable hard drive holds up to 7 TB of storage

» Utilizes a Linux operating system

» Qualified to DO-160G

The Edge distributed platform will be available Q2 of 2020.


Learn more about the Edge platform at APEX EXPO, where it will be displayed and demonstrated by Astronics CSC executives in Los Angeles, California, September 9-12, 2019 at booth 1429. Additional information and details on tech talks that will be given at APEX EXPO are available at

Astronics CSC serves as the global market leader for inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) hardware and software solutions for IFE providers, specializing in connectivity hardware, integration engineering, and certification services. Together with other Astronics subsidiaries, Astronics CSC offers the most complete set of IFEC hardware solutions available from a single vendor.

About Astronics Corporation

Astronics Corporation serves the world’s aerospace, defense, and other mission critical industries with proven, innovative technology solutions. Astronics works side-by-side with customers, integrating its array of power, connectivity, lighting, structures, interiors, and test technologies to solve complex challenges. For over 50 years, Astronics has delivered creative, customer-focused solutions with exceptional responsiveness. Today, global airframe manufacturers, airlines, military branches, completion centers, and Fortune 500 companies rely on the collaborative spirit and innovation of Astronics. The Company’s strategy is to increase its value by developing technologies and capabilities that provide innovative solutions to its targeted markets.