Gogo, Inc is the preeminent provider of airborne connectivity solutions enabling airline passengers to stay connected. They
turned to the team at PDT and Telefonix when it came time to do a complete technology refresh for their onboard server, the ACPU-1 (ACPU = ABS Computer Processing Unit).
The ACPU-2 was to include all original interfaces of the original ACPU, and be designed to plug & play in the same aircraft tray and with the same interface cabling as the original ACPU. New ACPU-2 features were to include advanced processing capabilities, ARINC 429 aircraft interfaces, expanded Gigabit Ethernet ports with Layer 2/3 support, avionic discretes, onboard WiFi radio, GSM Terrestrial modem, and extended onboard multi-Terabyte SSD mass storage capability.
The scope of work took advantage of the full breadth of PDT’s engineering expertise from Systems, Electrical, Mechanical, and Software. A tight customer timeline for aircraft certified hardware meant local project management with coordination with PDT’s Ukraine design center where many of the boards were laid out.
Other enhancements were included as part of the learning curve afforded by Gogo's experience with over 2,000 ACPU aircraft installations. Some of these enhancements include a persistent E ink type display to show the software revision to maintenance personnel even when the power is removed from the unit. The ACPU-2 also includes an autonomous microcontroller to monitor the health state of the internal processor cards.
The state-of-the-art ACPU-2 server is in the final stages of its DO-160G qualification program, in preparation for early Q2 deliveries to Gogo.
"In our search for a company to develop and manufacture the ACPU-2, we focused on companies that not only offered a history of developing airborne certified hardware, but companies that could offer real design innovation and an eagerness to do whatever it takes to meet our mutual goals.” Pat Walsh, Sr. Vice President of Engineering at Gogo.
Product Development Technologies (PDT) is a global, full-service product design and development firm with 120 employees worldwide. Team members have expertise in a wide range of product development disciplines, including strategy, scouting, design research, industrial design, user experience development, mechanical and electrical engineering, software development, and sourcing. PDT’s award winning product designs have been recognized with more than 70 awards from authorities such as BusinessWeek, Fast Company, the Industrial Designers Society of America and The Consumer Electronics Association.