HKUST, Tsinghua University and Southeast University work with Boeing Phantom Works on wireless communications R&D projects

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has entered into collaborative agreements with Boeing Phantom Works, together with Tsinghua University in Beijing and Southeast University in Nanjing, to research and develop new technology associated with wireless communications.

The research, intended to enable breakthroughs that will benefit onboard entertainment systems for Boeing's commercial airplanes and communication among maintenance technicians at airports, will be carried out over the next year by Chinese professors and university students pursuing advanced degrees.

"These new research collaborations are manifestations of our strategy in Phantom Works to leverage world-class research wherever it resides," said Don Winter, Phantom Works vice president of Engineering and Information Technology.

"Over the last 20 years, Chinese universities have made great strides in their research capabilities, so much so that many multinational companies have established research labs in China," said Robb Graham, a leader in Phantom Works' Engineering and Information Technology organization. "Our desire is to work with some of the best technical minds in the world, and the Chinese are doing very innovative research in wireless and information technology.

"Our hope is that this is just the start of a mutually beneficial long-term research partnership," Graham added. "We believe the talented staff and students at these universities can help us address key technology development challenges and complement our own research. Some of the Chinese universities, in working with local airlines and airports, may help Boeing better understand the operational requirements of its customers. The Chinese students and universities will benefit by working on real issues involving our Boeing commercial airplanes products."

"China and Boeing have a long, successful history of working together," said David Wang, president of Boeing China. "The collaborative agreements with Tsinghua University, Southeast University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology further expand our relationships and recognize the world-class capabilities of Chinese academic institutions."

Professors, doctoral candidates and students pursuing master's degrees at the three universities will work on the following wireless communications research projects for Phantom Works:

  • At the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, students and faculty will work on the problem of seamless connectivity among different networks used by aircraft line maintenance technicians at airports. This project also has the participation of Hong Kong International Airport.
  • At Tsinghua University, the research will focus on ways to improve the quality of wireless video streaming for onboard entertainment systems. Research also will be conducted on ways to make better use of the capacity of the already installed physical wiring for onboard entertainment systems.
  • At Southeast University, studies will be conducted on compact, ultra-wideband antennas for onboard entertainment systems that do not cause interference with other systems on the airplane.