Hughes Network Systems and SES have tested the performance of multi-orbit satellite communications that General Atomics‘ aeronautical systems business intends to use on its unmanned aerial vehicle to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations.
Hughes said Wednesday its HM series software-defined modems and resource management system work with SES’ geosynchronous and medium earth orbit satellites to deliver communications for remotely piloted aircraft.
The multi-orbit constellation of SES demonstrated how unmanned aircraft systems can stay connected even in contested scenarios. The satellites are designed to globally provide high-throughput, secure communications.
Will Tong, vice president of strategic government initiatives and head of the aero ISR market at SES, said the company’s O3b mPOWER MEO system allows it to address governments’ network sovereignty needs.
Hughes’ HM System offers software-defined gateways and modems, which supported the demonstration.
“Our multi-orbit demonstration for remotely piloted aircraft delivered three times the throughput of the currently deployed satcom service using a terminal less than half the size, while maintaining constant connectivity,” said Rick Lober, vice president and general manager of Hughes’ defense unit.