Boeing Uses Potatoes To Test Wi-Fi Signals

Written By Sam on 25 December 2012

American aircraft manufacturer Boeing used potatoes as human stand-ins to test Wi-Fi signals. Around 20,000 pounds of potatoes were used in the experiments at Boeing’s laboratories. The tests were to ensure that cabin Wi-Fi would remain consistent, while not interfering with essential on- board navigation and communication systems. According to an article by Boeing’s Adam Tischler about the SPUDS project, engineers tested out the measurement technology in the cabin of a de- commissioned passenger plane using state of the art equipment, cutting edge science, and 20,000 pounds of potatoes. Although it’s expensive to buy so many potatoes, the alternative would have been more expensive and also more tedious.

Boeing Wi-Fi Test

The tubers mimic the way the human body responds to signals, so engineers at Boeing’s Test & Evaluation Laboratory used the spud- filled plane to try out the new methods without requiring hundreds of people to sit in the aircraft. Boeing says the procedures it developed can reduce the time it takes to test wireless signals from two weeks to just 10 hours. Boeing says it’s learning ways to allow us to use our laptops, tablets and phones in flight without interfering with the plane’s navigation equipment.

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