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Viasat launches Black ICE software defined radio platform for secure data transmission

2nd August 2023 - 17:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London

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Black ICE SDR family is designed to support UAS operations. (Photo: Inmarsat)

Viasat has unveiled its Black ICE Software Defined Radio (SDR) family, which is designed to enable secure data transmission with flexible waveform integration and meet high-demand requirements for mission-critical operations.

The Black ICE SDR is described by the company as ‘modem solutions [that] enable the integration of commercial off-the-shelf and custom waveforms, allowing secure data transmission for mission-critical operations.’

The company said the system is designed to support BLoS operations with a particular focus on use with uncrewed systems and expanded capabilities via the ELERA L-band and Global Xpress Ka-band networks.

‘The solutions support Xilinx and Intel Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) architectures in both L-band and Ka-band, as well as OpenAMIP for antenna management,’ the company said in a statement on 2 August.

Inmarsat rolls out new terminal to support US airborne reconnaissance missions

‘Additionally, it enables a reduction in SWaP for L-band LAISR [Lightweight Airborne ISR System] user terminals, further supporting customers’ BLoS communications requirements for open architecture, security, low form factor terminals and high performance.’

For Ka-band customers, Black ICE can be integrated into standard Global Xpress Ka-band terminals via G-MODMAN II and Open Platform modem manager technology to enable the addition of a special waveform service.

Through the special waveform service, US government Global Xpress customers will be able to access alternative waveforms to satisfy specific high-demanding mission requirements, such as high data rate and resiliency necessary in congested and contested environments.

The company said it is developing more complex waveforms as well as other enhancements and these will enter commercial service later in 2023. 

Additionally, Black ICE will enable the addition of future enhanced special waveform features so that the service can utilise the capabilities of Viasat’s next-generation satellites.

The Shephard News Team

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