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V-Nova's PERSEUS data compression technology enabled HD video telemetry for Airbus's E-Fan technology demonstrator's crossing of the English Channel. With its 74-km flight from Lydd, England to Calais in France in July, the E-Fan became the first all-electric two engine aircraft taking off by its own power to successfully cross the English Channel. (Airbus)

Signal compression technology enables E-Fan's flight, potential enhanced 'black box' possibilities

V-Nova Ltd. demonstrated the capabilities of its PERSEUS data compression technology for aerospace applications as part of Airbus' all-electric E-Fan technology demonstrator aircraft’s flight across the English Channel.

During the flight, PERSEUS enabled up- and downstream HD (high-definition, 720p 25 frames/sec) video telemetry over standard, publically accessible 3G mobile networks, with a more than 80% bandwidth reduction compared to traditional technology under similar conditions, says V-Nova.

This made it possible to transmit terrestrial HD video to the cockpit, and allowed personnel aboard the chase aircraft and on the ground to view the E-Fan’s flight progress, as offline content and camera feeds from the crossing were down-linked, encoded, and distributed in real time via 3G networks to Android- and iOS-connected devices.

“Streaming HD-quality live video over existing 3G networks under demanding ‘real-life’ aerospace conditions is completely new," said Dr. Jean Botti, Airbus Group Chief Technical Officer. "There are significant opportunities for this technology to support the aerospace industry’s digital transformation.”

PERSEUS provides high-quality, high-compression encoding and decoding of data—at significantly faster speeds and the same or lower latency than traditional technology—using commercial-off-the shelf (COTS) hardware.

The successful video telemetry for E-Fan’s flight demonstrated a wide range of potential aerospace industry uses for the PERSEUS technology, including transmission of high-quality video content between the ground and aircraft, the handling of flight-critical data for trend monitoring and aircraft optimization, wireless distribution of in-flight entertainment throughout commercial jetliner cabins, and other potential bonuses.

“PERSEUS’ effective data compression also opens opportunities for additional services, such as an ‘enhanced or virtual’ black box that could store more data, or provide real-time critical information via the cloud,” said Eric Achtmann, V-Nova Executive Chairman & Co-Founder. “Another possible application could be for continuous live video observation of the cockpit or cabin for security purposes, with this hierarchical software enabling users to adjust the level of video quality and bandwidth required ‘on-the-fly’ as situations evolve.”

PERSEUS has been developed and tested over the past five years within an open innovation, interoperable coalition of over 20 global industry leaders, including Broadcom, Dell, Encompass, Hitachi, Intel, Sky Italia, TataSky, VisualOn, and WyPlay, to name a few. The PERSEUS software currently is offered in the form of bundled hardware, embedded software, codec plug-ins, and silicon IP.

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