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Digital Battlespace

US companies team up to deliver secure comms for UAV operators

16th October 2020 - 09:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

AeroVironment is assisting Viasat under the US Army Reconfigurable Communications for Small Unmanned Systems programme

Viasat and AeroVironment are to jointly develop enhanced Type 1 encrypted communications capabilities for UAS operated by the US Army.

Work will be conducted under contract to the US Army in the Reconfigurable Communications for Small Unmanned Systems (RCSUS) initiative, with Viasat as prime contractor.

Viasat will work with AeroVironment to develop and demonstrate advanced, encrypted communications suitable for the Puma AE tactical UAS (designated RQ-20B by the US armed forces). 

The two companies will seek to strengthen the communications and transmission security of AeroVironment Digital Data Link (DDL) radios, by converting them into a Type 1 crypto communication system for video and data transmission. 

In addition, Viasat and AeroVironment will develop critical interoperability standards for enabling UAS to generate a secure, digitally encrypted communications network via the embedded DDL waveform. 

RCSUS aims to provide US operators of small UAVs with ‘a robust, on-demand, highly-secure communications network’ that will address the growing EW capabilities of peer and near-peer adversaries, both companies noted in a 15 October statement.

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