Cabine d'un avion de ligne

Onboard communication

Cailabs technology multiplies the data transport capacities onboard aircraft

Global air transport currently represents come 3 billion passengers per year; everyday across the whole of the planet the equivalent of the entire population of Switzerland travels by plane. Driven by the economic dynamism and demographics of the developing countries, air traffic is undergoing constant growth with a doubling of the number of passengers every fifteen years.


This growth affects the onboard data transmission systems, which are seeing their bandwidth load increase due to the appearance of numerous new services and connected equipment: operational systems, in-flight entertainment, passenger and employee services, IoT, etc. Nevertheless, the architecture and the current technology of the cabling system within the aircraft is scarcely managing to keep up with these growing needs: heavy, hardly scalable, difficult to reconfigure.


Space division multiplexing, enabled by Cailabs’ technology Multi-Plane Light Conversion delivers a solution which:


  • multiplies the data transfer transport capacity onboard aircraft to meet the growing needs for onboard data exchange;
  • while simultaneously offering easy reconfiguration of the cabling system throughout the life of the aircraft.


A first demonstrator was developed as part of the collaborative project FLYLIGHT in conjunction with Photonics Bretagne and Safran Electrical & Power, supported by the Brittany administrative region. In the wake of this, in october 2018, a technological and commercial partnership agreement was signed between Safran Electrical & Power and Cailabs to continue development of the technology up to its maturity.




During the Paris Air Show Le Bourget in June 2019, Safran Electrical & Power has signed an extension of its cooperation with Cailabs, extending the scope of the initial partnership to include Cailabs in the development and design of its products and jointly develop the optical components of its on-board data interconnection system and associated services.