Friday, September 27, 2019

AEEC Ku/Ka Satcom Subcommittee - Sep 2019 Meeting Report

The SAE-ITC AEEC Ku/Ka Satcom Subcommittee met at the Boeing Integrated Aircraft Systems Lab (IASL) for three days of deliberations revolving around aeronautical satellite communications.

Topics discussed included:
  • Smaller form-factor antenna
  • Thermal management of solid-state antennas
  • Replaceable/Multiple Modems
  • Standard Ka/Ku-band Antenna
  • Enhanced Terminal Security
  • Enhanced Network Security
  • IF/RF over Fiber (modem to antenna)
  • Baseband over Fiber (modem to antenna)
  • Additional radios under the radome

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

737 AoA and Redundancy

The undetected failure of one Angle of Attack (AoA) sensor can spawn a host of flight deck effects on the Boeing 737. AoA malfunction is the root stimulus that triggered the events that unfolded on Lion Air JT610 and Ethiopian ET302. The challenge is to decrease the likelihood of undetected malfunction while retaining acceptable loss of function. The simplest and most effective strategy is to boost the ability to recognize a failed AoA sensor without reference to any other AoA sensor. The most complex solution would be to install or to derive additional AoA readings and which can still result in malfunction.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Postcards from Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission

The Museum of Flight hosting of the Smithsonian Apollo 11 Exhibition, along with many notable additions, is drawing to a close. With the fifty year anniversary to celebrate, I visited the show along with my wife and youngest son. My wife and I were both eleven when Apollo 11 flew its historic mission. I was living Fort Lauderdale, looking longingly (and without reward) to the north whenever a rocket was launched.  The mission was certainly an inspiration to me then, but frankly, I am more and more impressed as time goes by. The dedication and willingness to take great risks, the methodical engineering coupled with pushing scientific breakthroughs as required, the clean sheet approach to the unknown number of challenges; truly a great example of what a society can accomplish if it chooses to. And we chose to!