University of Malta in another European Research Project in Aeronautics, E-Cab A new European research project called "Electronically enabled Cabin and Associated Logistics for Improved Passenger Services and Operational Efficiency" has been set-up and has received research funding under the Community’s 6th Framework Programme. E-Cab will propose solutions to improve the end–to–end process of air travelling in a holistic approach. The project encompasses the whole logistic chain from journey planning at home, through the airport, flying, up to the final destination.

E-Cab aims at making air travel a more pleasant experience. Solutions on the ground include data collection and processing to provide intelligent information which will allow passengers: to know when they are expected on the aircraft, to identify the location of their luggage and to determine if they have time to carry out leisure activities within the airport or maximise productive time for business purposes. Solutions on-board the aircraft include; control over the means by which passengers access their connectivity, with options ranging from mobile phones, PDAs, laptop computers, up to new in-flight entertainment (IFE) interfaces.

The consortium is composed of 31 partners from 14 countries across Europe - including Aircraft manufactures: Airbus and Dassault Aviation, large industrial companies: Diehl Aerospace, EADS Corporate Research Center, Giunti Interactive Labs, Rheinmetall Defence Electronics, SELEX Communications, Siemens Business Services (Germany and Czech Republic), SITA-SC, Thales Avionics UK, Thales Avionics SA, and ULTRA Electronics Airport Systems, Small and Medium Enterprises: Ascom, B&W Engineering, Bucher Leichtbau, CeBeNetwork France, Dansk Teknologi, Identec Solutions, Jettainer, Microtech International, OnAir, TriaGnoSys, and Terma A/S, Research centres: Centro IBERLog, CNRS, Fundacion Robotiker, and TNO, and Universities: Cranfield University, the University of Malta, and the University of Bremen. These are offering all necessary complementary skills and competencies to enhance passenger services and to improve the European competitiveness in the avionic industry worldwide.

The University of Malta is participating in E-Cab through the development of models that emulate wireless networks inside the aircraft. These include 3G, WIFI and Wireless USB. The models will be used to determine the number of access points required to guarantee capacity and to establish their position in order to minimize transmission power requirements. A study on the quality of service for multimedia transmission over the wireless networks will also be done. The work at the University of Malta is being managed by Dr Ing. Carl James Debono, a senior lecturer at the Department of Communications and Computer Engineering.

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