The Boeing Airborne Satellite Television System earlier this month successfully demonstrated its live broadcast television service capabilities at a demonstration in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Guests at the Boeing Dubai Service Center watched multiple simultaneous digital broadcasts of television programming from regional satellite television service providers via the same suite of equipment that would be installed on an airplane.
Several of the guests familiar with wideband communications technology remarked that the Boeing system has an unmatched capability of meeting current international reception challenges.
Khalid Al-Nahdi of the Saudi Arabian Dallah Albaraka Group, said, "I am impressed with the technology. The Boeing Company's vision of global connectivity and wideband services to airplanes is a timely response to evolving communications needs."
Each successive regional demonstration increases the service capabilities of the system. "Every time we've demonstrated the system, we've been extremely pleased with the results," said Bob Knutson, Boeing senior sales and marketing manager. "Our equipment performs as expected right out of the box."
Boeing allows for the expansion of services by using an open architecture requiring only minimal changes to accommodate new capabilities, such as high-speed data reception, when they become available.
The satellite television system is based on phased-array antenna technology developed by Boeing. The 1,500-element antenna is novel in design and approach: it is only 1.2-inches thick, is 2 feet by 3 feet in size, and is electronically steered to allow near-instantaneous connections between satellites and airplanes. Employing a fully electronic tracking system ensures the greatest system reliability and service availability at any time.
The Boeing system was first demonstrated outside of the U.S. last November in London. System compatibility with several European satellite services was validated and displayed for those attending the demonstration.
With the success of the Dubai demonstration, Boeing has verified live satellite broadcast television service capability in three areas of the world - the U.S., Europe and the Middle East.