NASA and FAA Demonstrate Wireless Communication with Aircraft

The FAA Bombardier Global 5000 test aircraft used in the wireless communication system demonstration. (NASA)

For the first time ever, a team of engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center conveyed aviation data -- including route options and weather information -- to an airplane over a wireless communication system for aircraft on the ground. The demonstration, conducted with the Federal Aviation Administration demonstrated two technologies that could change airport operations worldwide.

The team used an Aircraft Access to System Wide Information Management (SWIM), or AAtS, prototype technical solution to convey the aviation information to an FAA Bombardier Global 5000 test aircraft taxiing 60 to 70 miles per hour. They sent the information over a new wireless communication system called Aeronautical Mobile Airport Communications System, or AeroMACS.