US20050136917A1 - Content delivery coordinator apparatus and method - Google Patents

Content delivery coordinator apparatus and method Download PDF

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US20050136917A1
US20050136917A1 US10/744,836 US74483603A US2005136917A1 US 20050136917 A1 US20050136917 A1 US 20050136917A1 US 74483603 A US74483603 A US 74483603A US 2005136917 A1 US2005136917 A1 US 2005136917A1
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information content
mobile platform
system
operator
content
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US10/744,836
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Scott Taylor
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Boeing Co
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Boeing Co
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Publication of US20050136917A1 publication Critical patent/US20050136917A1/en
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W4/00Services specially adapted for wireless communication networks; Facilities therefor
    • H04W4/02Services making use of location information
    • H04W4/029Location-based management or tracking services
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04BTRANSMISSION
    • H04B7/00Radio transmission systems, i.e. using radiation field
    • H04B7/14Relay systems
    • H04B7/15Active relay systems
    • H04B7/185Space-based or airborne stations; Stations for satellite systems
    • H04B7/18502Airborne stations
    • H04B7/18506Communications with or from aircraft, i.e. aeronautical mobile service
    • H04B7/18508Communications with or from aircraft, i.e. aeronautical mobile service with satellite system used as relay, i.e. aeronautical mobile satellite service
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L29/00Arrangements, apparatus, circuits or systems, not covered by a single one of groups H04L1/00 - H04L27/00
    • H04L29/02Communication control; Communication processing
    • H04L29/06Communication control; Communication processing characterised by a protocol
    • H04L29/0602Protocols characterised by their application
    • H04L29/06027Protocols for multimedia communication
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/10Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network
    • H04L67/1095Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications in which an application is distributed across nodes in the network for supporting replication or mirroring of data, e.g. scheduling or transport for data synchronisation between network nodes or user terminals or syncML
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/12Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications adapted for proprietary or special purpose networking environments, e.g. medical networks, sensor networks, networks in a car or remote metering networks
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/26Push based network services
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/28Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network
    • H04L67/2842Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications for the provision of proxy services, e.g. intermediate processing or storage in the network for storing data temporarily at an intermediate stage, e.g. caching
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/36Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications involving the display of network or application conditions affecting the network application to the application user
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L69/00Application independent communication protocol aspects or techniques in packet data networks
    • H04L69/30Definitions, standards or architectural aspects of layered protocol stacks
    • H04L69/32High level architectural aspects of 7-layer open systems interconnection [OSI] type protocol stacks
    • H04L69/322Aspects of intra-layer communication protocols among peer entities or protocol data unit [PDU] definitions
    • H04L69/329Aspects of intra-layer communication protocols among peer entities or protocol data unit [PDU] definitions in the application layer, i.e. layer seven

Abstract

Apparatus and method for managing and coordinating the delivery of information content in a manner that makes efficient use of the bandwidth of satellite based transponders being used to relay the information content to the mobile platforms. The apparatus makes use of a content management coordinator system having a graphical user interface (GUI). The GUI interfaces with one or more mobile platform operators to allow each of the operators to define the criteria by which various types of information content to be supplied to the mobile platforms. The apparatus further includes a file spaced storage monitoring subsystem which allows the file storage space available on each mobile platform to be monitored, and files deleted therefrom if necessary, to ensure that newly requested information content can be stored by the mobile platform. Information content is coordinated and aggregated as needed to ensure that transponder bandwidth is used most effectively for delivering various types of information content to each mobile platform requesting the content within each coverage region being controlled by the apparatus.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • Methods and apparatus for delivering information content from a ground based content provider to mobile platforms operating within a predefined coverage region, and more particularly to a content delivery coordinator system and method which allows a ground based operator of the mobile platforms to select specific types of content to be made available to the mobile platforms under various selected conditions and criteria defined by the operator.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The demand for information content, such as access to email accounts, information available over the Internet or other wide area networks, by individuals traveling on mobile platforms is expected to rise dramatically in the following years. Presently, various forms of mobile platforms, and particularly commercial aircraft, are being outfitted with equipment enabling the aircraft to communicate, via a transponded satellite communications link, with a ground based information content provider. This system is known as the “CONNEXION BY BOEINGSM” system available from the assignee of the present application. The CONNEXION BY BOEINGSM system allows a wide variety of information content to be supplied to mobile platforms, particularly commercial aircraft, traveling within a predefined coverage region being served by one or more satellite based transponders. A general description of this system is available in U.S. application Ser. No. 10/008,401, which is hereby incorporated by reference into the present application.
  • With the ability to supply a tremendous volume of information content to mobile platforms operating within a given coverage region, comes the issue of managing the supply of information content to achieve the most efficient delivery of the information content, and further in a manner which makes the most efficient use of the available transponder bandwidth. Since multiple mobile platforms operating within a given coverage region may only rarely be requesting the exact same information content (e.g., specific weather service or news information), the opportunity exists for the limited available transponder bandwidth to be used inefficiently. This is because when information content is transmitted by a satellite, it is available to all users (i.e., mobile platforms) within a given coverage region, regardless if all users within the coverage region are accessing or requesting the specific information content. For example, one user on aircraft A operating within a coverage region may request the online version of the WALL STREET JOURNAL®, whereafter this information is delivered via the satellite communications link to aircraft A. The user on aircraft A may only view this content for twenty minutes, and then user A on aircraft B may request the same content. This would necessitate using additional transponder bandwidth to deliver the same content to aircraft B. As one can see, transponder resources can end up being used quite inefficiently if the availability of information content is not managed and its delivery is not coordinated in an efficient way.
  • The need to coordinate and aggregate various types of information content is not nearly as significant with a static wide area network connection, such as a static Internet connection, because the Internet content recipients are geographically static and the Internet connection is continuously available. Furthermore, content available via some wide area networks such as the Internet, is presently available at a relatively low cost.
  • Thus, what is needed is some form of management over the information content made available to the various mobile platforms operating within a given coverage region in a manner that allows transponder bandwidth to be used much more efficiently and effectively.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present system is directed to a content delivery coordinator system and method which manages delivery of various types of information content to a plurality of mobile platforms operating within a given coverage region, where each of the mobile platforms are in communication with the present system via a transponded satellite communications link. The present system more specifically involves a content management coordinator system and method making use of a graphical user interface (GUI) to provide a wide variety of options to an operator associated with the mobile platforms such that the operator can select and tailor the delivery of various types of information content to the mobile platforms. The operator is in communication with the graphical user interface by any suitable means, such as via a wide area network, for example the Internet connection. Through the GUI, the operator can effectively program the delivery of various types of information content to each of its associated mobile platforms. In one particular form, the operator may comprise an airline and the mobile platforms may comprise aircraft operating within a given coverage region being served by the transponded satellite. Once the operator has defined various criteria for the delivery of information content, the content management coordinator makes use of a suitable delivery mechanism for transmitting the information content to the transponded satellite, which in turn transponds the information to one or more mobile platforms.
  • In one preferred form the graphical user interface provides a wide variety of selections to enable the operator to define criteria that enable information content to be supplied in a much more effective and efficient fashion to the mobile platforms. Such criteria may include one or more of the following:
      • specific types of information content to be made available to the mobile platforms;
      • one or more specific time frames during which the information content is to be made available;
      • designating whether the delivery of specific types of information content is to be made automatically to one or more mobile platforms upon the one or more mobile platforms entering the given coverage region;
      • whether only a best effort is to be made to deliver one or more specific types of information content to the mobile platforms upon request;
      • whether priority is to be given to delivering certain types of information content to the mobile platforms; and
      • whether certain types of information content are to be delivered automatically at predetermined intervals to the mobile platforms.
  • The content management coordinator system, in one preferred embodiment, further manages the file storage on one or more of the mobile platforms and deletes files as needed from a server on board the one or more mobile platforms. This ensures that adequate storage space is available on each mobile platform for the specific information content being requested by a mobile platform.
  • In another preferred form the content management coordinator system provides cost information to the operator that enables the operator to select certain types of information content that may be made available to the mobile platforms, upon their request, based on various costs associated with the supply of the information. This allows the operator to further tailor the types of information content that may be made available to each mobile platform accessing the system in a manner that allows the operator to manage the overall cost incurred in supplying the information.
  • In still another preferred embodiment, the graphical user interface allows the operator to designate different types of information content that may be made available to its associated mobile platforms operating in different satellite coverage regions, as well as other criteria to further tailor the delivery of information content to mobile platforms operating in different coverage regions. In this embodiment the graphical user interface also provides information informing the operator which mobile platforms are operating in which geographic coverage regions, and further allows the operator to place restrictions on the delivery of specific types of content in accordance with a given geographic coverage region. Thus, information content may be made available to some mobile platforms operating in a first geographic coverage region, while that same information content may be restricted from mobile platforms operating in a different geographic coverage region.
  • In still another preferred form, passengers on the mobile platform can access the graphical user interface of the system either from their homes, via a wide area network, or even from the mobile platform after boarding. The passengers can use the graphical user interface to select specific types of information content to be made available to them after boarding, as well as to select seat assignments, meal options and other helpful items.
  • The present system and method thus more effectively allows various types of information content such as web pages, news articles, video files, software or any other form of information content available in electronic form, to be coordinated and aggregated more efficiently before the content is transmitted to mobile users in one or more distinct satellite coverage regions, or even to mobile platforms traversing more than one satellite coverage region. This enables information content to be more efficiently packaged before the information content is provided to the delivery mechanism and from there to the satellite transponder, or transponders, operating within one or more coverage regions.
  • The features, functions, and advantages can be achieved independently in various embodiments of the present system or may be combined in yet other embodiments.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The present system and method will become more fully understood from the detailed description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a simplified representation of a plurality of mobile platforms operating within a plurality of geographic satellite coverage regions, and wherein each of the satellites include a transponder which is in communication with a content management and coordinator system of the present system via a delivery mechanism;
  • FIG. 2 is a block diagram of one preferred form of the present system interfacing with a well known delivery mechanism, with a mobile platform, and with a ground based operator of the mobile platform; and
  • FIG. 3 is a flow chart illustrating the operations performed by one preferred embodiment of the present system.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The following description of the preferred embodiment(s) is merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit the invention, its application, or uses.
  • Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown a content management coordinator system 10. The system 10 is in bidirectional communication with a mobile platform operator 12, via a wide area network connection 14. The mobile platform operator may be a commercial airline or any other entity having control over one or more mobile platforms that are interfacing with the system 10. The wide area network connection 14 may be an Internet connection or any other form of connection allowing bidirectional communications between the mobile platform operator 12 and the system 10.
  • The system 10 is further interfaced via a wide area network 16 with a plurality of regional information content centers 18 a, 18 b and 18 c. Regional content centers could alternatively be sea-based or space-based centers. Network 16 may also comprise the Internet. Each of the information content centers 18 are interfaced with the network 16 via bidirectional network connections 20 a, 20 b and 20 c respectively. Each regional information content center 18 provides selected information content to an associated delivery mechanism 21 a, 21 b and 21 c, which in turn delivers the content via a network connection 22 a, 22 b and 22 c. Network connections 22 a, 22 b and 22 c supply the content to a corresponding terrestrial base station 24 a, 24 b and 24 c, respectively. Each base station 24 a, 24 b and 24 c is further in bidirectional communications with the system 10 via an associated network connection 26 a, 26 b and 26 c, respectively. Each base station is also in bidirectional communication with a transponded satellite 28 a, 28 b and 28 c, respectively. Base stations 24 could also be space-based.
  • Each of the transponded satellites 28 a, 28 b and 28 c are associated with a given coverage region 30 a, 30 b and 30 c. Within each coverage region 30 is shown a single mobile platform 32 a, 32 b and 32 c, respectively, however, it will be appreciated that each region may have more than one mobile platform operating therein or alternatively may have no mobile platforms operating therein. Furthermore, it will be appreciated that while the mobile platforms 32 are illustrated only for exemplary purposes as commercial aircraft, that the present system 10 is applicable for use with any type of mobile platform such as ships, trains, busses, trucks, or other motor vehicles. Merely for convenience, the mobile platforms 32, for the purpose of discussion only, will be referred to as “aircraft” 32.
  • Referring further to FIG. 1, in general operation, the mobile platform operator 12 interfaces with the content management coordinator system 10 to select various types of information content that are to be made available to the aircraft 32 operating within each of the coverage regions 30. The mobile platform operator 12 also is able to place restrictions on the various types of information content that can be supplied to each of the aircraft 32 operating within the various coverage regions 30 a, 30 b and 30 c. Each aircraft 32 further includes an onboard transmitting system and file server (not shown) for storing information content received from the base station 24 associated with its given coverage region 30. One exemplary type of onboard system which may be used by the aircraft 32 is described in U.S. application Ser. No. 10/008,401, mentioned previously herein, and hereby incorporated by reference into the present application. Each aircraft 32 can request various types of information content from its associated content center 18. The content will be delivered if the content has been authorized by the system 10 and, if so, in accordance with various criteria established by the mobile platform operator 12.
  • Referring now to FIG. 2, a block diagram of one preferred embodiment of the content management coordinator system 10 is illustrated. The system 10 includes a graphical user interface (GUI) 34 and a file space storage monitoring subsystem 36. The system 10 is in communication via the wide area network connection 14 with the mobile platform operator 12. Again, while a single mobile platform operator 12 has been illustrated, it will be appreciated that in practice a plurality of mobile platform operators 12 may be in communication with the system 10 via one or more network connections.
  • The graphical user interface 34 provides the mobile platform operator 12 with a number of selections or options for tailoring the availability of information content to its associated aircraft 32 operating within the various coverage regions 30 a, 30 b and 30 c. In particular, the graphical user interface 34 provides the following exemplary selections:
      • specific type of information content allowed;
      • restrictions on specific types of information content for each coverage region 30;
      • specific time frame (or time frames) during which specific types of information content are to be made accessible by each aircraft 32;
      • assigning a priority level making the delivery of one or more types of information content mandatory to each aircraft 32 as soon as the aircraft enters one or more specified coverage regions;
      • making a best effort to deliver one or more types of information content, upon request by a given aircraft 32, to one or more specified coverage regions 30;
      • giving no priority to requested information content being requested by an aircraft in one or more specified coverage regions;
      • giving certain types of information content priority over other types of information content;
      • specifying whether one or more specific types of information content are to be supplied at regular, predetermined time intervals automatically to each aircraft 32 operating within a given coverage region 30; and
      • providing the mobile platform operator 12 with the ability to select different types of information content to be made available to each aircraft 32 in a specified coverage region 30 based on the cost of providing the given information content to the operator 12.
  • It will be appreciated that the above options made available to the mobile platform operator 12 are merely meant for exemplary purposes, and that other various forms of selections or criteria may easily be implemented through the system 10 to further allow the operator 12 to tailor the information content made available to each aircraft 32. The criteria established by the operator 12 allows content such as web pages, news articles, advertisements, streaming video files, software, email access, etc. to be coordinated and aggregated by the system 10 to most efficiently use the limited resources available from each satellite transponder 28 in each coverage region 30.
  • In additional specific implementations, the system 10 can be used to coordinate and aggregate the delivery of specific advertising materials to an operator's website so that the advertisements can be uploaded to the aircraft 32 traveling within one or more specific coverage regions at specific times of day, such as at peak times where a maximum number of aircraft are expected to be operating within the coverage region(s). This feature could potentially enhance revenue generation for the operator 12 operating the aircraft 32 by maximizing the possibility that the advertising materials would be viewed by the greatest number of passengers.
  • Another implementation would be to use the system 10 to deliver flight information, rental car information, or any other penitent information to travelers at specific times of day or for specific time periods throughout the day. Still another implementation would be to use the system 10 to schedule the delivery based on highest demand times for entertainment materials, streaming video of news, sporting events, televisions shows, or other financial information with or without additional advertising materials, that could be offered for a fee or for no fee to passengers on the aircraft.
  • Through all of the above exemplary implementations, a key aspect is that the information content or advertising content is packaged, aggregated and delivered to passengers on the aircraft 32 in a logical and efficient manner that most efficiently uses the limited transponder bandwidth available for serving a given coverage region.
  • The file storage monitoring subsystem 36 is also preferably incorporated with the content management coordinator system 10. The monitoring subsystem 36 enables the system 10 to monitor the availability of the file storage space on the file server on each aircraft 32, and to delete previously stored information on the file server as needed so that sufficient storage space is available for newly requested information content. This further ensures that transponder bandwidth will only be used to provide information content to a given aircraft 32 when sufficient storage space is available, or made available, by the monitoring subsystem 36 for storing the newly requested information content. The monitoring subsystem 36 could further monitor the entry or departure of each mobile platform 32 within each of the coverage regions 30 to allow information content being transmitted to a given coverage region to be terminated if the aircraft 32 within that specific coverage region should leave the region. This feature also enables one or more specific types of information content 12 to be automatically transmitted to an aircraft 32 that enters a given coverage region 30, in accordance with previously selected criteria by the mobile platform operator 12.
  • In FIG. 2, the system 10 optionally provides for the ability of a user, for example a passenger of attendant 38, to access the system 10 and select information content remotely from his/her home or office, or possible even from the mobile platform 15. In this embodiment the user/attendant accesses the GUI 34 and is provided with various content options, as allowed by the operator 12. In this manner the user/attendant can select various forms of information content to be provided to him/her during his/her travel on the mobile platform 15. Additional information such as seat assignment information or meal request selections could also be coordinated through the system 10. The user/attendant could also be provided with rental car information or reservation options at this time.
  • Referring now to FIG. 3, a simplified flow chart is shown illustrating the steps of operation of the system 10. Initially, the mobile platform operator 12 interfaces with the GUI 34 of the system 10 to define criteria upon which one or more types of information content are to be made available to its associated aircraft 32 operating within each coverage region 30, as indicated at operation 40. The content coordinator 10 provides instructions to the delivery mechanism 21 associated with each regional content center 30, as indicated at operation 42. These instructions define the criteria upon which various types of information content are to be provided to the aircraft 32 operating within a given coverage region 30. In operation 44, the delivery mechanism 21 provides the content to the aircraft 32 operating within the coverage regions 30 in accordance with the criteria defined by the mobile platform operator 12. At step 46, the file space storage monitoring subsystem 36 of the system 10 monitors the available storage space on each aircraft 32 and deletes previously stored information as needed to ensure that newly requested information content from the aircraft 32 is able to be stored thereon. The system 10 then checks the GUI 34 to determine if the operator has made any changes to the criteria by which information content is to be delivered to the aircraft 32, as indicated at operation 48. If no changes have been made, then the delivery mechanism 21 continues to deliver the information content in accordance with the criteria defined by the mobile platform operator 12, as indicated at operation 44. If any changes have been made by the mobile platform operator 12, then the system 10 so instructs the delivery mechanism 10 so that subsequently requested information content is only made available to the aircraft 32 in accordance with the newly defined criteria from the mobile platform operator 12.
  • The system 10 thus enables a wide variety of information content to be coordinated, aggregated and delivered to various mobile platforms operating within one or more predefined geographic coverage regions in a manner which most effectively makes use of the limited bandwidth of each transponded satellite operating within each coverage region. The system 10 allows various types of information content to be defined by the mobile platform operator 12, as well as to allow the mobile platform operator to set restrictions on the delivery of various types of information content to one or more specific coverage regions 30, and further to coordinate the delivery and availability of various types of information in accordance with costs, with time of day, with the importance of a specific type of information being requested, and with other factors. The system 10 further ensures that transponder bandwidth will be used efficiently by monitoring the space available for file storage on each mobile platform and deleting old files as needed to ensure that newly requested information content can be stored by the mobile platform and made available to users thereon. In one preferred embodiment the system 10 further enables users such as passengers of attendants working on the mobile platform 32 to select various forms of information content for use before boarding the mobile platform, or even while on the mobile platform.
  • While various preferred embodiments have been described, those skilled in the art will recognize modifications or variations which might be made without departing from the inventive concept. The examples illustrate the system and are not intended to limit it. Therefore, the description and claims should be interpreted liberally with only such limitation as is necessary in view of the pertinent prior art.

Claims (33)

1. A system for managing the availability of information content to be supplied to at least one mobile platform operating within a predefined geographic coverage region, via a satellite communications link, the system comprising:
a content management coordinator system for providing said information content to said mobile platform;
an interface operably associated with said content management coordinator system and accessible via a wide area network connection with an operator of said mobile platform, and also with a user on said mobile platform via said satellite communications link;
said interface enabling said operator to define at least one of:
type of information content to be made available to said mobile platforms from said content management coordinator system; and
a time frame during which said information content is to be made available to said mobile platform from said content management coordinator system.
2. The system of claim one, further comprising a delivery apparatus for interfacing with said content management system and delivering said information content to said mobile platform in accordance with selections made by said operator.
3. The system of claim 1, wherein said interface further enables said operator to select one of three priorities for a delivery of said information content to said mobile platform, said three priorities comprising:
mandatory delivery of said information content to said mobile platform;
a best effort made to deliver said information content to said mobile platform; and
no priority given to delivering said information content to said mobile platform.
4. The system of claim 1, wherein said content management coordinator system monitors an amount of information content supplied to said mobile platform and supplies commands to a server on said mobile platform to delete sub quantities of said information content previously delivered to said mobile platform, to manage storage of said information content on said server.
5. The system of claim 1, wherein said interface enables said operator to select a specific type of said information content to be delivered to said mobile platform at predetermined time intervals.
6. The system of claim 1, wherein said interface provides information to at least one of said operator and said user regarding a cost of providing a given type of said information content within a given time of day.
7. The system of claim 1, wherein said interface monitors for the arrival of said mobile platform within said coverage region and automatically begins supplying said information content in accordance with a selection previously made by said operator.
8. The system of claim 1, wherein said interface comprises a graphical user interface.
9. The system of claim 1, wherein said interface enables communication with an individual located remotely from said system to enable said individual to pre-select information content to be made available to him/her on said mobile platform.
10. A system for managing the availability and supplying of information content to a plurality of one mobile platforms operating within a predefined geographic coverage region, via a satellite communications link, the system comprising:
a content management coordinator system for providing said information content to said mobile platforms;
a graphical user interface operably associated with said content management coordinator system and accessible via a wide area network connection with an operator of said mobile platforms, and also with a user on each of said mobile platforms via said satellite communications link; and
said graphical user interface enabling at least one of said operator and at least one of said users to select a specific type of information content to be supplied to said mobile platforms from said content management coordinator system.
11. The system of claim 10, wherein said graphical user interface enables at least one of said users and said operator to select a time frame during which said information content is to be made available to a give one of said mobile platforms from said content management coordinator system.
12. The system of claim 10, wherein said graphical user interface further enables said operator to select one of three priorities for a delivery of said information content to each of said mobile platforms, said three priorities comprising:
mandatory delivery of said information content to said mobile platforms;
a best effort made to deliver said information content to said mobile platforms; and
no priority given to delivering said information content to said mobile platforms.
13. The system of claim 10, wherein said content management coordinator system monitors an amount of information content supplied to a given one of said mobile platforms and supplies commands to a server on said given mobile platform to delete sub quantities of said information content previously delivered to said given mobile platform, to manage storage of said information content on said server of said given mobile platform.
14. The method of claim 10, wherein said graphical user interface enables said operator to select a specific type of said information content to be delivered to said mobile platforms at predetermined time intervals.
15. The system of claim 10, wherein said graphical user interface provides information to at least one of said operator and one of said users regarding a cost of providing a given type of said information content during a given time of day.
16. The system of claim 10, wherein said graphical user interface monitors for the arrival of said mobile platform within said coverage region and automatically begins supplying said information content in accordance with a selection previously made by said operator.
17. The system of claim 10, wherein said interface enables communication with an individual located remotely from said system to enable said individual to pre-select information content to be made available to him/her on said mobile platform.
18. A system for managing the availability of information content to be supplied to at least one mobile platform operating within a predefined geographic coverage region, via a satellite communications link, the system comprising:
a content management coordinator system for providing said information content to said mobile platform;
a graphical user interface operably associated with said content management coordinator system and accessible via a wide area network connection with an operator of said mobile platform;
said graphical user interface providing said operator with selections for selecting at least one of the following:
a specific type of information content to be made available to said mobile platform from said content management coordinator system; and
a cost of providing said specific type of information content to said mobile platform for a given time of day.
19. The system of claim 18, wherein said graphical user interface further allows said operator to designate a time frame during which said information content is to be made available to said mobile platform from said content management coordinator system.
20. The system of claim 18, wherein said graphical user interface further allows said operator to designate if said specific type of information content is to be automatically supplied to said mobile platform as soon as said mobile platform enters said predefined geographic region.
21. The system of claim 18, wherein said content management coordinator system monitors availability of storage resources on a server on said mobile platform.
22. The system of claim 21, wherein said content management coordinator system further deletes previously stored information content from said server.
23. The system of claim 18, wherein a user on said graphical user interface is accessible by a user on said mobile platform to request delivery of a specific type of information content.
24. The system of claim 18, further comprising a delivery mechanism for delivering said information content to said mobile platform.
25. A method for managing a supply of information content to a mobile platform operating within a predefined geographic coverage region, via a satellite communications link, the method comprising:
providing a terrestrial based subsystem having access to a plurality of types of information content;
using a graphical user interface operably associated with said subsystem, and accessible via a wide area network connection with an operator of said mobile platform, to enable said operator to select at least one specific type of said information content to be made available to said mobile platform upon request by said mobile platform to said terrestrial based subsystem.
26. The method of claim 25, further comprising using said graphical user interface to enable said operator to select a time of day that said specific type of said information content is to be made available to said mobile platform.
27. The method of claim 25, further comprising using said graphical user interface to provide cost information to said operator pertaining to a cost of delivering a selected type of said information content at a given time of day.
28. The method of claim 25, further comprising user said graphical user interface to enable said operator to define a priority level for delivering said selected type of said information content.
29. The method of claim 25, further comprising using said terrestrial based subsystem to monitor storage capacity of a server on said mobile platform.
30. The method of claim 25, further comprising using said terrestrial based subsystem to modify stored data content on said server as needed to ensure adequate storage space for content delivered to said mobile platform.
31. The method of claim 25, further comprising providing access to said graphical user interface to a user on said mobile platform, and enabling said user to select a specific type of said information content.
32. The method of claim 25, further comprising using said graphical interface to enable said terrestrial based subsystem to designate that a specified type of said information content is to be automatically delivered to said mobile platform when said mobile platform enters said predefined geographic coverage region.
33. The method of claim 32, further comprising using said terrestrial based subsystem to automatically periodically supply a specific type of content specified by said operator as soon as said mobile platform enters said predefined geographic coverage region.
US10/744,836 2003-12-23 2003-12-23 Content delivery coordinator apparatus and method Abandoned US20050136917A1 (en)

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US8768244B2 (en) 2014-07-01
CA2551124C (en) 2013-04-02
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JP4753879B2 (en) 2011-08-24
JP2007516683A (en) 2007-06-21

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