Receiving Satellite TV in a plane

Cnn reported about the airliner that made an emergency landing yeaterday:

How does a moving aircraft receive a satellite TV signal? Residential antennas must be rather carefully aligned.

Mobile Satellite TV. I imagine that it works on a similar concept for airplanes.

Yes, they do need to be carefully aimed, but the mobile systems use gyros to know “which end is up” as well as where the satellite is. The units adam yax linked to can move the antenna 45 degrees in under a second, so as long as you make a 90 degree turn in anything slower than two seconds, the system can keep up. Normally, airplanes change direction much slower than that so as to not scare the passengers.

That’s also why airliner sateliite antennas cost $30K-$100K each, whereas the homeowner ones are giveaways.

Giveaways? Hey, I just paid $30.00 for a spare on EBay.