Viasat demonstrated BLOS Satellite Connectivity to U.S. Army Rotary-Wing Helicopter

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.

Ken Peterman, president, Government Systems, Viasat commented, “For years we have demonstrated our strong capabilities of providing enhanced SA and sensor-driven capabilities to fixed-wing and unmanned aircraft system platforms. Now we have proven we can transform rotary-wing platform communications and enable game-changing connectivity needed to make timely decisions, shorten the kill chain and reduce fratricide. U.S. Army commanders can now receive and disseminate their intent to subordinate units, on the move, as well as receive timely intelligence with HD video feeds.”

For more information on the value SATCOM brings to UH-60M missions: watch this Viasat video.