During commercial flights, pilots require continuous communications and seamless access to data products, such as graphical weather maps and turbulence alerts, to proactively react to dynamic flight conditions. NASA/Glenn Research Center (GRC) and the weather information communications (WINCOMM) project have been researching methods to improve communications and to disseminate graphical weather data products to aircraft flying in the transoceanic region where en route weather collection and dissemination are minimal. The goal is to employ commercial satellite-based communications and packet switching technologies to provide a cost effective and efficient communications solution for aviation. This paper describes the goals of the WINCOMM program and the research related to the transoceanic scenario. It describes the flight architecture and the proposed communication network that is currently being implemented in the laboratory. The main goal is to have a seamless but efficient separation of services between the cockpit and cabin data with both data existing on the same data link. The initial findings for the quality of service (QoS) research is presented along with the techniques for implementing QoS in Cisco routers and the design of the QoS schemes for the transoceanic testbed. Data for the testing initially focus on sending informational and graphical weather data but eventually encompass warning/cockpit alerts and, hopefully, air traffic control messages. In mid-2005, the laboratory setting can be flight tested aboard the Langley Research Center's (LaRC) Boeing-757.
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