Boeing completes key tests of new aircraft satellite antenna

Boeing engineersBoeing has completed environmental and performance qualification testing on the aircraft satellite communications antenna system it is developing for multi-purpose satellite operator Al Yah Satellite Company (Yahsat) of the United Arab Emirates.

The system has passed customer-witnessed acceptance testing, and its required data transfer rate has been validated in over-the-air satellite tests.

“These milestones complete the qualification efforts for our most advanced aeronautical antenna leveraging expertise from across Boeing in designing and integrating antennas systems for customer aircraft,” said Paul Geery, vice president for Command, Control and Communications Solutions. “The result is a low-profile SATCOM solution that provides en-route broadband connectivity for many types of aircraft.”

Boeing’s system offers a solution to military and commercial customers who require an aircraft-qualified, low-profile, low-drag, easily installed antenna to send and receive data between airborne and ground terminals. The system employs steerable phased array technology, meaning the antenna uses electronics rather than mechanical components to track a satellite, even when mounted on moving aircraft.

The Yahsat contract calls for Boeing to deliver the first of eight low-profile antenna systems later this year for installation on various aircraft.

Boeing designed and qualified the antenna system in Kent, WA. Final assembly and testing will be performed at the company’s El Paso, TX, site. The system will be offered to additional customers whose aircraft require low-profile, low-drag agile satellite antenna systems.