AWN Closer to Testing Airplanes as Communications Satellites

Rendition of satellite laser communication links. Photo: Mynaric.

Rendition of satellite laser communication links. Photo: Mynaric.

Airborne Wireless Network announced that, in preparation of its upcoming hybrid radio and laser communications flight test, Mynaric (formerly ViaLight Communications) has arranged for the shipment of two flight laser terminals and associated components to AWN.

The confirmed shipment will allow AWN to conduct a two-plane test using two Cessnas or equivalent planes. The Cessna tests build upon AWN’s successful May proof of flight concept test performed in Roswell, New Mexico, which used two Boeing 767s and demonstrated the ability of aircraft equipped with Infinitus Super Highway to act as airborne repeaters to send and receive broadband signals from one aircraft to another. The proof of flight concept test also successfully demonstrated aircraft-to-ground communication, ground-to-aircraft communication, and aircraft-to-aircraft-to-ground-and-back communication, the company stated.

Through its July 2017 patent application, AWN is seeking exclusive rights in the method of synchronizing laser links between aircraft in flight for use in its proprietary Infinitus Super Highway technology. AWN will be using this method as a roadmap to attempt to exponentially increase data transfer speeds for its contemplated Infinitus Super Highway.

The Mynaric flight laser terminals being used for AWN’s Cessna tests will test the interruption of the laser link to further validate AWN’s Hybrid Radio and Laser Communications System. The Cessna tests are designed to prove that “self-synchronizing” and “self-restoring” airborne laser links are feasible and practical, AWN stated. The company presently anticipates that it will be able to conduct the Cessna tests and a larger airborne test involving up to 20 commercial aircraft during the 2018 calendar year. If successful, AWN would seek to complete the hardware and software development in order to launch Infinitus Super Highway.

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