Boeing Uses Potatoes For In-Air WiFi Testing

CHICAGO (AP)- Engineers at aircraft maker Boeing Company are using an odd mix of high and low-tech tools as they strive to iron out weak spots in onboard wireless Internet signals.

The Chicago-based company’s researchers needed full planes to get accurate results during signal testing, but they couldn’t ask people to sit motionless for days while data was gathered.

Boeing spokesman Adam Tischler says that’s where potatoes come into the picture.

It turns out that because of their water content and chemistry, potatoes absorb and reflect radio wave signals much the same way as the human body. So, Boeing engineers put sacks of potatoes in seats to stand in for passengers.

The company says the work has greatly improved Internet connectivity on its planes.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS St. Louis

Live Inspired
Photography In A Flash

Listen Live