Firm says the spuds were "ideal stand-ins for passengers."
How do you ensure an even distribution of Wi-Fi throughout an airplane's cabin as that cabin moves through the air at 35,000 feet and 500 mph?
When engineers at Boeing attempted to test different Wi-Fi system designs, they needed to either stock the plane full of warm human bodies or find something else to use in their place. The answer? Potatoes -- 20,000 lbs of them. In a press release, the company called the spuds, quote, "ideal stand-ins for passengers," whose presence shapes the way WiFi pings around the plane's cabin.
"The vegetables' interactions with radio-wave signals mimic those of the human body," a video from Boeing explains.
They labeled the test SPUDS: Synthetic Personnel Using Dielectric Substitution. According to CNN, Boeing has donated the ersatz passengers to a food bank.
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