For Immediate Release

November 9, 2005
Contact: Holly Baker
Phone: (609)485-6253

EGG HARBOR TWP. N.J. — The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded a $1.35 million contract to AeroSat Airborne Internet, LLC of Amherst, NH to demonstrate and evaluate basic concept and components of the Airborne Internet system.

The FAA is demonstrating Airborne Internet capability to evaluate its potential to address the advanced communications requirements of the Next Generation Air Transportation System. Airborne Internet shows promise to enhance the safety and efficiency of future air travel. The system would give the flight crew automatic updates of critical data, such as the weather, turbulence and landing conditions at different airports.

The one-year contract calls for Aerosat Airborne Internet to conduct Airborne Internet flight demonstrations on FAA test aircraft at the William J. Hughes Technical Center. Data will be exchanged between the air and ground at 45 megabits per second, then passed from aircraft to aircraft, exhibiting a full range of communications that previously have required the use of satellites. The in-flight simulations are expected to demonstrate the all-around effectiveness of the system.

"In our plan for the next generation air transportation system, we envision that aircraft will be nodes on a network – providing, accepting and relaying information," said Charlie Keegan, Vice President for Operations Planning of the FAA's Air Traffic Organization. "This will support all users having the information they need, when they need it."