ViaSat, which recently announced it improved performance in its airborne broadband network by upgrading its transmission rates, has now announced it demonstrated a new return link waveform that could enable a nearly 10-fold improvement in the baseline return link available to current operations.
The development waveform project and demonstration was performed for an undisclosed government customer.Company officials say the new operations can send high-resolution video and broadband data off the aircraft at speeds up to 1 Mbps.
ViaSat’s recent tests also offered continuous return link traffic using the same airborne broadband satcom network equipment that U.S. Special Forces and a variety of other intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance or “ISR” aircraft are operating in the Middle East.
The company has announced plans for in-theater operational demonstrations of the higher return link rates for later this year.
This improved airborne ISR capability, according to company officials, can transmit multiple full motion high definition video feeds as well as other ISR sensor data streams simultaneously from a single platform.
Through this demo, ViaSat plans to provide a path for continuous return rates at the highest possible speed while operating on widely available Ku-band satellites.
The Ku-band system enables the highest speed ISR missions operating with ultra small .3-meter antennas and meeting the regulatory performance for Ku-band satellites. ViaSat mobile broadband terminals include a mix of systems operating on integrated networks for general aviation, communication on-the-move, maritime, and rail.
These mobile broadband terminals use ViaSat patented ArcLight technology, which enables a very small antenna to deliver improved speed and performance compared to other mobile satellite alternatives.
ViaSat also announced it has received a $477 million IDIQ contract to supply the next generation of high speed, high capacity, low latency Blue Force Tracking or “BFT” equipment to the U.S. Army as part of the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below or “FBCB2” Program.