The future satellite platform and 5G communication systems place high demands on antennas, in which the antenna should offer low-cost, lightweight, electronically steerable features. In this paper, the design of a digital slot antenna element based on substrate integrated waveguide (SIW) is proposed. The slot antenna element is realized by implementing PIN diodes across the gaps on both sides of the pad in the center of the slot antenna, to provide the switching freedom of the slot antenna element between radiating and non-radiating states. Besides, radial decoupling stubs are introduced into the bias line so as to reduce the leakage of the energy in the SIW structure. Applying a series of on/off states to the diodes produces various radiation patterns, thus wide range scanning is possible supposing that enough array elements are equipped. Finally, a digital SIW-slot array composed of 8 by 4 elements with tunable field programmable gate array (FPGA) circuits are fabricated and measured. The measured results validate the reconfigurable characteristics for the radiation pattern of the proposed digital SIW-slot antenna array without heavy engineering of phase shifter in conventional antenna arrays.