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The introduction of data networks within an aircraft has created several service opportunities for the air carriers. Using the available Internet connectivity, the carriers could offer services like Video-on-Demand (VoD), Voice-over-IP (VoIP), and gaming-on-demand within the aircraft. One of the major road blocks in implementing any of these services is the additional hardware and software requirements. Each service requires dedicated hardware resources to run appropriate software components. It is not possible to accommodate every hardware component within the aircraft due to space, power, and ventilation restrictions. Also, it is economically not viable to install and maintain hardware components for every aircraft. One solution is to use cloud computing. Cloud computing is a recent innovation that is helping the computing industry in distributed computing. Cloud computing allows the organizations to consolidate several hardware resources into one physical device. The Cloud computing concept helps organizations in reducing the overall power consumption and maintenance costs. The cloud computing concept could be extended to the Aircraft Data Network environment with every aircraft subscribing to the cloud resources to run their non mission-critical applications. In this paper, the authors explore the possibility of using cloud services for Aircraft Data Networks. The authors evaluate the performance issues involved with the aircraft mobility and dynamic resource transfer between servers when the aircraft's point-of-attachment changes. The authors predict that using cloud computing concepts would encourage many carriers to offer new services within the aircraft.
Date of Conference: 10-12 May 2011