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Cable Antennas Provide In-Flight Wireless Service

Cable-based antennas from WL Gore & Associates are designed to provide wireless service on wide-body and single-aisle passenger aircraft, allowing passengers to various wireless functions, including Internet and communications. The GORE® Cable-Based Antennas can be installed along the length of the cabin ceiling. These leaky coax cables provide a uniform radiation pattern so that wireless reception is consistent throughout the cabin of the aircraft. The cables transmit and receive signals from about 400 MHz to 6 GHz, for compatibility with a wide range of wireless protocols, including  Bluetooth, DECT, DECT2, Global Star, GSM, IRIDIUM Sat, MMS, PDC, TETRA, UMTS, WLAN 802.11 a/b/g, and WiMAX.

The lightweight leaky coax cables help aircraft designers save on the cost of on-board wireless services by eliminating the need for active repeaters throughout the cabin. The cables are available in lengths of 65 m or longer and require no maintenance for the lifetime of the aircraft. They meet all shock, vibration, and fire specifications, including AirBus ABD0031 and FAR Part 25.1359(d).

According to Helmut Seigerschmidt, Gore’s European Product Leader for Aerospace Applications, the GORE Cable-Based Antenna is the premier choice for wide-body aircraft. “Several years ago, a current customer approached Gore to work with them to develop a cost-effective technology that would provide reliable wireless connections for their passengers,” he says. “From our years of experience with the aerospace industry, we knew that our solution needed to take into account the weight constraints and limited space available on the aircraft. Therefore, we began our design with the concept of a single device that would handle all protocols and provide reliable access anywhere in the cabin.

“As a result of this approach, our leaky-line antennas have been selected for retrofit as well as new production of both single-aisle and long-range aircraft.”

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