Hughes Demonstrates HeloSat In-flight Video Streaming on Black Hawk

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Beyond line of sight satellite communications (SATCOM) for helicopters will become increasingly common over the next decade for a variety of missions, including military intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); search and rescue; disaster relief; firefighting and VIP transport for officials who want to conduct VTCs and use streaming video, according to a Hughes executive.

"The market opportunity is huge," Wayne Marhefka, senior director of business development for the defense and intelligence systems division of Hughes, told Avionics International in a June 9 telephone interview. "The desire for data anywhere, anytime is great and is increasing in society as a whole. 10 years from now, it [SATCOM] will probably be on every helicopter.”

Marhefka's comments come, as Hughes Network Solutions announced a successful flight demonstration on May 21 of its HeloSat SATCOM system on a UH-60A Black Hawk owned by XP Services, based in Tullahoma, Tenn. The flight demonstration included a Hughes HM series modem, the Ku-band frequency Intelsat Galaxy 18 (G-18) satellite, and a 22-pound fuselage-mounted GetSat Milli-H antenna. The Ku-band frequency has higher data rate transmissions than L-band and is cheaper than the L-band satellite frequency, as the latter is charged per minute usage, according to Hughes.

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