Viasat demonstrates Beyond Line of Sight satellite connectivity

February 08, 2021 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Viasat demonstrates Beyond Line of Sight satellite connectivity
Beyond Line of Sight satellite connectivity to a U.S. Army rotary-wing helicopter shows ability to deliver resilient command and control.

Viasat has successfully demonstrated through-the-blades Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) Ka-band satellite communications (SATCOM) connectivity to a U.S. Army UH-60M rotary-wing helicopter. The demonstration highlighted Viasat's ability to deliver resilient command and control (C2) communications, feature-rich situational awareness (SA) and Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) feeds – disseminating C2/SA from a simulated Tactical Operations Center to the UH-60M aircraft and down to dismounted soldiers.

Today, rotary-wing platforms are equipped with slow, low data-rate satellite communications systems that severely limit mission effects. However, earlier this quarter, Viasat delivered high-speed, high-quality broadband communications to a rotary-wing platform — through the turning rotors — with consistent, error-free, usable throughput far exceeding any other vendor's capabilities. Having the ability to operate broadband communications-on-the-move could dynamically transform the role of the multi-mission UH-60M helicopter, enabling it to provide en-route mission command, telemedicine for MEDEVAC and other critical warfighting functions across the battlespace.

The Viasat system proved it could meet the Army's quest to enhance its aging airborne C2 system. Viasat used BLOS Ka-band SATCOM service coupled with its Ka-band airborne terminal to facilitate U.S. Army Battle Command Systems to send and receive bandwidth-intensive, full-motion high-definition (HD) video; conduct high-quality, real-time video teleconferencing; exchange information on the WinTak application for precision targeting; and other advanced connectivity-based capabilities through the rotors of a UH-60M helicopter.

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