Last updated: 11:00 AM ET, Mon January 11 2016

How Airbus Is Using Technology to Defeat Jet Lag, Drones

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | January 11, 2016

How Airbus Is Using Technology to Defeat Jet Lag, Drones

PHOTO: The high-tech Airbus A350 XWB. (Photo courtesy of Airbus)

Airbus has developed – and is in the process of developing – two interesting pieces of technology as disparate as they are exciting.

One is for comfort.

The other – well, sort of.

The airplane manufacturer has already introduced its new A350 XWB line of planes, and they have an interesting design feature – they are made to help lessen jet lag.

Jet lag is that wonderful component of travel that comes free of charge when we travel across multiple time zones. According to the Mayo Clinic, “your body has its own internal clock, or circadian rhythms, that signals your body when to stay awake and when to sleep. Jet lag occurs because your body's clock is still synced to your original time zone, instead of to the time zone where you've traveled. The more time zones crossed, the more likely you are to experience jet lag. Jet lag can cause daytime fatigue, an unwell feeling, difficulty staying alert and gastrointestinal problems. Jet lag is temporary, but it can significantly reduce your vacation or business travel comfort.”

On the A350 XWB planes, which are now flying to the U.S. as part of the Qatar Airways fleet, new LED lighting systems change color temperature during the flight to imitate the normal shifts of sunlight.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Counter Jet Lag

airbus’s" target="_blank">A spokesperson for Airbus told Quartz the system is capable of producing 16.7 million different light color combinations that can be set for any flight length or change of time zones, helping your body to sync faster with your destination in the compressed timeframe of the flight.

In addition, the A350 XWB planes can be pressurized to 6,000 feet, which is more typical to the pressure on the ground, and features an air filtration system that turns over every two to three minutes.

As peaceful and comforting as that sounds, Airbus is working on another development that, well, is sort of peaceful and comforting, at least to the minds of passengers.

The manufacturer is working on new technology that will feature a jamming device that can stop a drone, sending it crashing to the ground. Not so good for drone owners, but certainly a modicum of peace of mind for passengers and, especially, pilots and Airbus itself.

RELATED: FAA Proposes Record $1.9 Million Fine Against Drone Operator

The proliferation of drones has brought the devices closer and closer to airports and airplanes, creating dangerous situations. According to, Airbus showed off the technology at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Using a combination of combination of radar, infrared sensors and other equipment, Airbus says it can detect a drone up to six miles away and take it over.

"All over the world, incidents with universally available small drones have revealed a security gap with regards to critical installations such as factories, airports or nuclear plants," Airbus' Thomas Müller told techradar.


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