Boeing today announced certification of the first-ever airborne satellite television system with operational service coverage in three regions of the world.
Installed by Jet Aviation in Basel, Switzerland on a private 767 business jet in late May, the Boeing system receives satellite television services in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. The system's performance was validated during flight tests in all three regions and received FAA certification on June 20.
The Boeing system receives direct-to-home (DTH) television broadcasts around the world, and will enable high-speed digital communications, onboard wideband data services such as e-mail, web-browsing and file transfer to be used by the airborne traveler.
Livingston L. Holder, Jr., Boeing program manager for the system, said, "I am extremely pleased with the system's performance. This is the seventh system we have installed, and the first that provides multi-region service.
"Service expansion beyond the U.S. is a truly important step toward our end-objective of providing information services to people anywhere they fly."
The ability to provide "at home" connectivity in multiple regions of the world positions Boeing to make the system available to commercial airlines and their passengers in the near future.
Boeing first installed a prototype system on a private business jet in November 1996. Systems also have been installed on several military aircraft, performing command and control functions for the U.S. government.
The satellite television system is based on phased-array antenna technology developed by Boeing. The 1,500-element antenna 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 highly mobile platforms, such as airplanes.
The antenna system is compatible with transport category aircraft and large business jets such as the Boeing Business Jet, a corporate adaptation of the 737.
For additional information regarding the Boeing system, please visit the following website: http://www.boeing.com/asts/