Airborne Wireless Network (AWN) announced it has entered into a support agreement with GE Aviation, anticipating that the relationship should significantly accelerate the development of its hybrid radio and free-optics communications system to be demonstrated in 2018.
Per the agreement, GE will provide tactical-grade inertial reference units with embedded GPS that AWN will use for heading, pointing, attitude and stabilization for its communications system.
AWN intends to create a high-speed broadband airborne wireless network by linking commercial aircraft in flight. Each aircraft participating in the network will act as an airborne repeater or router, sending and receiving broadband signals from one aircraft to the next. AWN has stated it will not provide retail customer coverage to end users, but instead act as a wholesale carrier with target customers, such as internet service providers and telephone companies.
This article was originally published by Via Satellite, an Avionics sister publication. It has been edited.