Feeds

SPUDS ON A PLANE! Boeing boosts in-flight Wi-Fi with tater tech

And no sign of Samuel L. Jackson

Security for virtualized datacentres

Vid Boeing engineers have filled an aeroplane with potatoes to improve wireless internet coverage on flights.

Substituting their passengers for approximately 20,000 pounds (9,000kg) of potatoes, engineers at Boeing's Test & Evaluation Laboratory are trying to work out how best to propagate Wi-Fi signals through a busy aeroplane cabin. The technology is aptly called SPUDS: Synthetic Personnel Using Dielectric Substitution.

One little-vaunted quality of potatoes is that they respond to electromagnetic waves in a similar way to the human body, so the sacks are a good stand-in for airline travellers.

Using potatoes instead of real people speeds up the testing period from two weeks to ten hours.

The engineers want to ensure that they can keep an aeroplane's communications and navigation systems running while boosting in-flight Wi-Fi hotspots; such access points already exist but their reception could be improved.

"One of the wonderful aspects of our improved testing is that we can describe both strong and weak signals with incredible accuracy," Boeing spokesman Adam Tischler told CNN. He added:

Engineers who are concerned primarily with operational safety of an airplane can see if the strong signals are safe for the airplane's communication and navigation systems. Meanwhile, an engineer who is concerned with getting every passenger a really good network signal can see if the weak signals are propagating through the airplane with enough power to provide a good usability experience.

The Wi-Fi-exposed spuds are donated to a food bank after testing. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.