Commercial, Embedded Avionics

Could a New Broadband Communications System be on the Horizon for Airlines?

By Juliet Van Wagenen | October 31, 2016
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Rendering of Airborne Wireless Network’s civilian air-to-air communication system
Rendering of Airborne Wireless Network’s civilian air-to-air communication system. Photo: Airborne Wireless Network

[Avionics Magazine 10-31-2016] Airborne Wireless Network has submitted its application and related documentation to the FAA for initial certification of a civilian air-to-air communication system.

The company’s application cover letter states, “Airborne Wireless Network is making application for a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for a broadband transceiver system to be installed in Boeing 757-200 aircraft. This new patented broadband system will provide light weight, low power, low cost, microwave relay stations on equipped aircraft. The new system provides a chain of airborne repeaters providing communications along the entire flight paths.”

The purpose of the new project is to replace Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) communication satellites with broadband wireless communications networks linking aircraft to aircraft and ground stations.

The company intends to expand on the planned initial certification program to include multiple aircraft types, including all major airframes actively flying in the worlds airline fleets.

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