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AUVSI: Upgraded satellite provides solution for mounting ISR requirements

19th August 2011 - 16:58 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Communications specialist ViaSat has confirmed that talks are ongoing with the US Department of Defense (DoD) regarding a satellite upgrade to improve ISR capabilities on operations.

Speaking to Shephard at the Unmanned Systems North America exposition in Washington, DC, ViaSat officials said they had already been involved in a number of discussions with the DoD, saying: 'We think they are very interested to use ViaSat-1. It would change a lot of things'.

They were referring to the ViaSat-1 high-capacity satellite which is due to be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in September. A company statement read: 'The Ka-band satellite has the capacity to serve the accelerating growth in bandwidth demand for multimedia Internet access over the next decade'.

ViaSat executives referred to comments made by former Commander ISAF and new CIA director David Petraeus who said commanders in Afghanistan lacked access to sufficient bandwidth for ISR missions in theatre.

According to the company, a similar capability to ViaSat-1 would increase throughput of data from around 5GB to 140GB per second.

'It would provide more capability and costs would be no different,' they continued. However, ViaSat also warned that such a step-change would result in a 'need to change techniques in order to get high throughput'. More specifically, they said this would require the use of a certain number 'gateway' communications relays.

'We don't think this will happen overnight but there some utility in that,' they added.

ViaSat-1, a high capacity Ka-band spot beam satellite, is expected to provide coverage over North America to grant high-speed broadband services for WildBlue in the US and Xpolornet in Canada.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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