Touchpanel Seat Controller for First Class Airline Seat

touchpanel for airline seat control

Develop airline seat passenger control panel - including hardware, software, mechanical design, and FAA certification. Product is also manufactured by RightHand Technologies.

The Client

The client is a world leader of aircraft interior products and solutions for commercial aircraft, business jets, and the military markets. Their products include seating, galley equipment, oxygen systems, lighting systems, water and waste systems, and power management.

The Need

The client planned to release a new line of high-end airline business class and first class seats and needed someone to design a touch panel controller. The controller would regulate seat adjustment actuators, lumbar support, and seat lighting. It also needed safety detection of obstacles, error detection, and a diagnostic mode.

The RightHand Solution

This project took advantage of all the service areas provided by RightHand Technologies. In order to complete the final deliverable, we drew from the internal expertise of electrical engineering, software engineering, mechanical engineering, quality team and manufacturing. We designed, developed, and FAA qualified the unit and moved it into production. Every department at RightHand Technologies contributed to the project:

  • Hardware: Created early proof-of-concept hardware for a client to demonstrate to their airline customer. Once approved, engineers completed schematics, layout, prototyping, and board bring-up. All design documentation was prepared and released to meet FAA requirements.
  • Software: Team created the board support package (BSP) including Linux operating system, drivers, and application program interface (API) as well as a graphical user interface (GUI) running under Android.
  • Mechanical: Engineers designed the enclosure for the touch panel, including mounting, isolation for thermal management, and consideration for shock and vibration and EMI shielding.
  • Quality: 100% functional testing outlined in detailed Assembly and Test Instructions (ATI) and Acceptance Test Procedure (ATP).
  • Manufacturing: Assembly tools and fixtures to ensure the manufactured units conform 100% to the qualified design.

    Working together, RightHand Technologies' engineers developed creative and innovative solutions that met all of the customer's product requirements.

    The Results

    At the end of the development, the product required DO-160 and DO-178 FAA certification approval. Since RightHand Technologies has completed dozens of certified projects, they were comfortable preparing all product documentation to meet the DO-160 and DO-178 requirements. They took responsibility for all pre-qualification testing, and accompanied the product to the labs for full certification testing. As expected, unit was approved with no difficulties. The aircraft manufacturer also visited the RightHand Technologies manufacturing facility to audit the FAA documents and give final approval.

    The customer was so pleased with the touch panel design and with the skills of the RightHand Technologies teams that they have commissioned several additional touchpanel variations for other airline installations. As production of the panel continues, RightHand engineers are available to support the client's needs and handle any issues that may arise.