[Via Satellite 07-21-2015] Hughes Network Systems’ Defense and Intelligence Systems Division (DISD) has demonstrated the transmission of real-time, high definition video through helicopter blades with no signal disruption. The test, which took place from July 6 to July 8, used Hughes’ beyond-line-of-sight (BLoS) end-to-end airborne satcom solution on a NorthStar Aviation Bell 407 multi-role helicopter (MRH). Boeing, General Dynamics, DataPath, and Northrop Grumman supported the demonstration.
Hughes completed the test in Ka-band over the Inmarsat-5 (I-5) F2 Global Xpress satellite. The solution can transmit across all satellite frequency bands, and may be applied to fixed and rotary wing platforms built by Sikorsky, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Atomics and others. Hughes employed a new, ruggedized modem during a series of flight tests to assess the capabilities of relaying real-time video from helicopters to ground operatives hundreds or even thousands of miles away.
“High definition video with zero packet loss through rotary blades is a significant new capability for satellite communications,” said Rick Lober, vice president and GM, Hughes DISD. “The military and law enforcement personnel employing helicopters for BLoS communication have been limited in the past, but not anymore. This technology opens the door for pervasive use of satcom-enabled helicopters over mountainous terrain, open water, natural disasters, or anywhere that line of sight communication means are blocked or out of range.”
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