In line-of-sight airborne applications, deployment of a steerable antenna array with higher directivity and gain
makes sense to reduce ground station complexity and cost, while still maintaining a reasonable link budget. This paper
reports on the design, development, and successful testing of a digitally beam steerable phased array antenna integrated
as a complete system, comprising the antenna, hosting platform, ground station, and aircraft based emulator to facilitate
convenient aircraft based testing of the antenna array and ground-air space communication link. Based on the
measurements, the 4x4 element prototype tested reduces the error rate by a factor of 7 in comparison with a 4x4 array
without steering. For the same link quality, the power required is 12 dB lower than in the case of a single element
antenna. With only minor modifications, the concept can even be used in a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite environment.