SPUDS fly first class

In an effort to improve Wi-Fi connections and eliminate weak signals in-flight, Boeing Co. engineers are using sacks of potatoes as surrogate passengers while monitoring Wi-Fi signal strength during test flights.

To simulate a full plane of passengers, engineers are using potatoes because the vegetable’s water content and chemistry absorb and reflect radio wave signals similar to that of a human body.

Engineers have titled the project SPUDS (Synthetic Personnel Using Dialectic Substitution).

Originally posted Monday, Dec. 24, 2012