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Featured Aircraft

Overcoming Jet Lag with the Soleil Lighting System on Board the Global 7500 Aircraft

Bombardier is lighting the way in combatting jet lag with Dynamic Daylight Simulation.

Soleil Lighting

For most travelers, jet lag is an occasional inconvenience. But for frequent long distance travelers, it is a constant concern, one that Bombardier is trying to help solve with the Soleil lighting system on the Global 7500 business jet.

What is commonly referred to as jet lag is actually an environmentally-instigated disruption of the body’s internal clock, otherwise known as the circadian rhythm, which regulates our patterns of energy, rest, mood and hunger over a 24-hour period.

Bombardier’s Technical Lead for Industrial Design, Bruce Malek, and his team designed the Soleil lighting system—aviation’s most advanced cabin lighting system and the only one linked to the aircraft’s Flight Management System (FMS). Soleil introduces the first-ever Dynamic Daylight Simulation, which is uniquely designed to help synchronize a travelers’ circadian rhythm to the time at their destination in order to help combat jet lag. It is exclusive to the Global 7500 aircraft and is one of the many remarkable innovations this new class of business jet introduces.

While there are several factors that come into play when trying to manage jet lag, popular research has shown that lighting can have the greatest effect. The Soleil’s Dynamic Daylight Simulation leverages specific combinations of red and blue light wavelengths to aid in stimulating or suppressing the production of melatonin—the body’s sleep hormone—to help synchronize a traveler's circadian rhythm to the time at their destination. Using the departure and arrival time and locations entered into the FMS, Soleil’s Dynamic Daylight Simulation automatically adjusts the lighting during the flight to replicate the variations in light intensity, color and hue to simulate natural daylight. By subtly manipulating these external cues, Bombardier’s Soleil lighting system can help align the body’s internal clock with the time at the destination and thereby help alleviate the jet lag that typically occurs on long distance flights.

Soleil Lighting System

“With the Soleil lighting system we were able to take a very complex algorithm and integrate it within the Cabin Management System (CMS) to make it as intuitive for passengers as turning on a light switch,” says Malek. The Soleil’s Dynamic Daylight Simulation also takes into account the seasonal variations in daylight of virtually any city pair. For example, say an aircraft departs on a 10-hour overnight flight from Los Angeles to London, leaving Los Angeles at 5pm and arriving in London at 11am. On departure, the light in the cabin will match Los Angeles’ outdoor lighting at that time of the year. As the flight progresses, the lighting in the cabin will gradually shift to more of the red light wavelength to help stimulate melatonin production to help you sleep. As the aircraft approaches London, the Soleil lighting system will gradually introduce blue light wavelengths that will slowly increase in intensity to help wake you up. By the time the aircraft lands in London, the cabin lighting will match the morning light at the destination, having effectively compressed the evening, night and morning light cycles.

To help tailor the lighting system to the desire of passengers, Malek and his team led the development of a circadian adjustment setting that customizes the lighting sequence to a traveler’s preference for either extended work or rest. “The Extended Work setting lengthens the applicable blue light wavelength sequence to aid in prolonging wakefulness to get in more work, while the Extended Sleep setting lengthens the red light sequence that is most conducive to sleep.”

While lighting is one of the most effective factors in combatting jet lag, nutrition also plays a very important role. To that end, the Soleil lighting system is fully-integrated with the Global 7500 aircraft’s nice Touch CMS, which can alert crews to the optimal time for scheduling meals. 

The beauty of the Soleil lighting system is that it is so well thought out and engineered that it is seamless for travelers. In fact, the only thing you may notice is landing at your destination free of jet lag.

And that’s probably the best arrival a frequent traveler can ask for.

Soleil Lighting

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