Hughes Demoes Satcom Capability for Rotorcraft HD Video Transmissions
Hughes Network Systems has announced that its Defense and Intelligence Systems Division (DISD) recently demonstrated a 360-degree Beyond-Line-of-Sight (BLOS) satellite communications capability transmitting High-Definition (HD) video through rotating blades on a NorthStar Aviation 407 Multi-Role Attack Helicopter.
The demonstration integrated the Hughes HM200 airborne modem and two lightweight antennas mounted on top of the helicopter’s weapons platforms via a roll-on/roll-off installation. As a new lightweight capability — 50 percent lighter than previous systems, according to Hughes — the satcom system any helicopter platform given its low Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) properties, giving pilots more flexibility and uninterrupted transmission of full motion HD video over a full 360-degree range, the company said.
The two airborne terminals have very low SWaP constraints, enabling NorthStar Aviation to quickly place the antennas at strategic low-risk locations on the helicopter without costly structural changes and re-certification, said Hughes. As result, users have the flexibility to integrate the 360-degree solution on a variety of rotary wing platforms for missions that range from Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) gathering, to search and rescue, disaster relief, and other applications requiring live video feeds for situational awareness.