5 Reasons to Add SATCOM to Rotary Wing Platforms September 05, 2018 Defense Helicopter BLoS Rotary COTM ISR Airborne false Until now, helicopters relied heavily on Line of Sight (LoS) communications to and from ground station towers. This is a perfectly adequate technology with one important exception. LoS communications limit the operational flight range of the aircraft before it loses the signal from local topography, like mountains and valleys, or sheer distance. In fact, a pilot loses that link around 150 miles from the tower due to the curvature of the Earth. How can we take rotary wing aircraft comms Beyond Line of Sight (BLoS)? The answer is satellite. Here are 5 reasons military aviation units should deploy SATCOM on rotary platforms: Commercial Technology Readiness. Commercial high-throughput satellite (HTS) systems are finally delivering the reliability to overcome significant interference factors consistently. Hughes HeloSat, for example, has been tested successfully on nine different helicopter platforms overcoming variances in number, material and length of blades, fuselage blockage, and low Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) hardware constraints. Flexibility. With a roll-on/roll-off installation, operators can easily add the system onto an aircraft when they need to go BLoS and then remove the system for short range missions where LoS comms are adequate. Without having to cut into the roof of the helicopter (though sometimes this method is still preferred based on the helicopter model), teams can save on installation and flight certification costs. Line of Sight Backhaul. In this emerging application, the satellite system backhauls LoS traffic to and from an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in what is known as Manned-Unmanned (MUM) Teaming operations. This significantly enhances communications capabilities in challenging environments like heavy urban or mountain ranges. 360 degree in-flight connectivity. With one low-SWaP antenna mounted on each side missile rail (in a dual-terminal architecture), pilots no longer have to consider aircraft positioning to maintain the transmission with the satellite, enabling them to fly and position as needed. The two terminals automatically hand-off based on which has the better signal. Live HD Video. The latest EO/IR camera technology on helicopters opens up new possibilities for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) applications, especially with added facial recognition software. These new rotary wing SATCOM solutions utilize Ku- or Ka-band frequencies, delivering upwards of 10 Mbps – more than enough to transmit live HD video. In summary, satellite communications today can enable rotary platforms to better support situational awareness for warfighters and command authorities, specifically with regard to ISR applications. Ka-band and Ku-band frequencies can deliver more bandwidth and at a more attractive cost than ever. Moreover, the latest generation of High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) system technology has the proven capabilities to overcome rotor interference and deliver the throughput required for today’s global missions. HeloSat In Action! WATCH THE VIDEO Categories See All Defense (5) ISR (4) BLoS (4) SATCOM (3) COTM (3) SD-WAN (3) Airborne (3) Security (2) Network Management (2) Government (1) UAV (1) Helicopter (1) HeloSat (1) MSP (1) Protected Communications (1) Artificial Intelligence (1) Rotary (1) Popular Blogs Connecting the U.S. Department of the InteriorAug 6, 2020 Keeping Frontline Workers Connected During a Uniquely Challenging Hurricane SeasonAug 11, 2020 Looking for a Clear Path to Better Network Performance, Increased Security and Reduced Costs?Aug 25, 2020 DoD Gets a Look at “Self-Healing” Capabilities for More Resilient SATCOM Connectivity on the MoveSep 15, 2020 No Deployment Too Remote for Internet AccessSep 22, 2020 Related Posts See All Connecting Military Helicopters—3 Critical Things to Know September 09, 2019 Debrief: Three Takeaways from SOFIC 2019 Dan Brown May 30, 2019 Today’s Information-Driven Military Environment Requires DoD Keep Pace With Commercial Technology Advancements February 28, 2019 Securing SATCOM: Modernizing Military Systems for Smarter Adversaries September 05, 2018 Future Success Requires Lower SWaP for Airborne ISR Systems May 17, 2018 ENJOY THIS POST? This blog was featured in the September edition of our newsletter. Provide your email below to receive a monthly round-up of what’s happening in the world of connectivity! First Name Last Name Email Company Campaign ID CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.