DH - Defence Helicopter

SATCOM through rotor blades demonstrated

15th February 2017 - 01:02 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Hughes Network Systems has demonstrated a 360-degree beyond-line-of-sight SATCOM capability transmitting HD video through the rotating blades of a NorthStar Aviation 407 helicopter, the company announced on 13 February.

The capability was achieved by the integration of a Hughes HM200 airborne modem and two lightweight antennas mounted on top of the helicopter's weapon platforms.

The two airborne terminals have low size, weight and power properties, while the antennas can be placed at strategic low-risk locations without the need for structural modifications or re-certification. According to the company, this approach makes it possible for the solution to be adapted to any helicopter.

The solution provides uninterrupted transmission of full motion HD video over a 360-degree range for missions including ISR gathering, search and rescue, and disaster relief, giving commanders the ability to make decisions on the ground based on real-time situational awareness.

Wayne Marhefka, senior director at Hughes' Defense and Intelligence Systems Division, said: 'Meeting end user requirements is what we're all about, and this flight test proves that beyond-line-of-sight SATCOM systems on helicopter platforms are now easier than ever to deploy.

'As a roll-on/roll-off system, the two antennas seamlessly hand-off the satellite signal based on aircraft position, with little to no feed interruption. Customers requiring real time SATCOM on helicopters will no longer have to worry about aircraft positioning in order to stream HD video or other data.'

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