Astrium Begins AirPatrol Terminal Flight Trials with Canadian Military

[Satellite TODAY 07-17-12] Astrium has successfully completed testing its AirPatrol next-generation airborne satcom terminal and has commenced flight trials with the Canadian Department of National Defense as part of its Radar and Imaging for the Land/Littoral Environment (RIFL2E) coastal surveillance project, the satellite manufacturer announced July 16.

   Astrium Services developed the service for military and government customers requiring beyond line of sight connectivity to their secure networks. AirPatrol aims to provide high sensor data transmission rates for shared situational awareness and enhanced mission effectiveness that can be integrated onto fixed, rotary and unmanned platforms.
   Astrium Services Executive Director of Satcom Systems and Solutions Aidan Joy said the AirPatrol terminal that qualified for operation was installed on board a Convair CV-580 aircraft.
   “This is a key milestone for our airborne satcom program. We have achieved airborne qualification and airframe integration, and excellent results in early flight testing with the system achieving a transmission data rate of over 11 Mbps while accurately tracking the satellite via the beacon receiver,” Joy said in a statement.
   The Canadian Department of National Defense’s RIFL2E project will use the AirPatrol terminal, along with Astrium Services’ Skynet X-band satellite capacity, to enable the Canadian Military to evaluate the operational capability of their airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) test platform.
   The Astrium testing follows its recent award of a contract from Yahsat for an airborne system integrated with a customer furnished phased array antenna system. The Astrium-supported Yahsat system utilizes a TDMA waveform designed by Astrium Services as a very high spectral spreading capability to maintain compliant adjacent satellite interference levels, optimize the performance of the phased array antenna and allow multiple aircraft to share the spectrum.

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