Elmo In Action

How does Wi-Fi work at 35,000 feet?


Today’s passenger expects a consistent, high-speed internet connection at all times, even when in the air. The quality and availability of that connection can influence carrier choice.
But how does in-flight Wi-Fi actually work?Some of the technology behind the miracle of airplane Wi-Fi actually resembles the process that delivers wireless internet on the ground. Airplanes use many of the same towers and satellites that deliver data to our smartphones, connecting to towers on the ground, or to satellites, or to both.
However when it comes to airplanes the information is transmitted to and from your smartphone via an antenna on the top of the aircraft.Because airplanes move through the stratosphere at such high speeds, the antenna must constantly maintain a connection to any given tower or satellite, this is where Elmo’s solution comes into the picture. Two Gold Bees (G-BEE3/100) are installed inside each antenna in order to control the azimuth and the elevation which allows the antenna to align itself with satellites or ground towers. Elmo created a costume made solution to comply with the extreme temperatures at such altitudes that can go up to 55 degrees Celsius. The Gold Bee’s pin based version made it easier for the two bees to be incorporated in their own PCB.

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