During the test flights, the research aircraft circled around the receiving station at an altitude of 1,000 meters within a radius of 5 to 12 kilometers. However, the receiving station was not in orbit in a satellite, but on the ground.
This shows that the technology is still a long way from being introduced commercially on intercontinental flights. For the start, the scientists tested the stability of the broadband connection over relatively short distances. After all, they were able to record a partial success: The connection remained stable for three minutes during an overflight within a five-kilometer radius; the test people were able to transfer 180 GB. The connection also works in adverse weather conditions such as clouds, rain and fog.
The experiment was carried out as part of the "ELIPSE" research project funded by the German Aerospace Center and the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy. In addition to KIT, the University of Stuttgart, Radiometer Physics GmbH and the two Fraunhofer Institutes for Applied Solid State Physics IAF and for High Frequency Physics and Radar Technology FHR were also involved.