ViaSat Enerdyne demonstrates EnerLinks III Ground Modem Transceiver Receiving Legacy FM Analog Video from Multiple Unmanned Aerial Systems
Last week at the Unmanned System Demonstration at Webster Field near Patuxent River Maryland, the Enerdyne division of ViaSat successfully received and displayed analog-transmitted NTSC video from a variety of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) using its digital EnerLinksIII Ground Modem Transceiver (GMT).
Based on a programmable radio architecture, the EnerLinksIII GMT is designed to operate with digital waveforms transmitted by aircraft using EnerLinks equipment, but by adding the Analog Mode option, the GMT can also receive analog FM video transmissions.
During the Webster Field demonstration, the EnerLinks GMT captured video transmitted from unmanned aircraft such as the Insitu Scan Eagle, AAI Aerosonde MK 4.7, L-3 Mobius, Aerovironment Puma, and MUDO AeroStar, receiving transmissions in L-, S-, and C-bands.
The ability to receive video from older, analog systems enables UAS suppliers to begin to upgrade to improved digital technology while still interoperating with the rest of their fleet.
“Our customer base has a significant number of systems flying with analog links. As they transition to EnerLinks digital technology, they’ll be operating a mix of both legacy and new technology. The addition of analog modes allows them to use one ground receiver for all deployed units,” said ViaSat Enerdyne division general manager Steve Gardner.
The GMT includes the ability to digitize and compress received analog video signals using H.264 compression and embeds the compressed video into an MPEG-2 transport stream for distribution over an IP network to standard exploitation systems, including the EnerViewTM viewer.
Customers who already have EnerLinksIII GMT products can upgrade them to add the EnerLinks Analog Mode, which is a simple software download to their systems. Analog Mode in the GMT dovetails with the EnerLinks Digital Video Over Analog (DVA) product, which allows legacy analog FM transmitters to send an AES-256 encrypted signal that contains an H.264 digital full motion video stream accompanied by up to 2 Mbps of IP traffic.
With both the analog capable GMT and the DVA, UAV fleets can maintain interoperability with a mix of upgraded and unmodified aircraft and ground stations.
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