Viasat demonstrates BLOS Ka-band SATCOM connectivity to UH-60M

9 February 2021 (Last Updated February 9th, 2021 17:07)

Viasat has announced the demonstration of beyond line of sight (BLOS) Ka-band satellite communications (SATCOM) connectivity to a US Army rotary-wing platform.

Viasat demonstrates BLOS Ka-band SATCOM connectivity to UH-60M
A US Army UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter. Credit: US Army / Staff Sgt Richard Wrigley.

Viasat has announced the demonstration of beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) Ka-band satellite communications (SATCOM) connectivity to a US Army rotary-wing platform.

During the demonstration, the company used its BLOS Ka-band SATCOM service to broadcast command and control (C2) communications/feature-rich situational awareness (SA) from a simulated Tactical Operations Center to the UH-60M helicopter.

The high-speed, high-quality broadband communications from a simulated Tactical Operations Center were delivered through the rotors of the rotary-wing platform and to dismounted troops.

Viasat coupled the service with its Ka-band airborne terminal to help US Army Battle Command Systems send and receive broadband communications on-the-move through the platform’s blades.

This shows the ability of the helicopter to deliver resilient C2 and allow it to provide en-route mission command, support MEDEVAC missions and other functions in the battlespace.

Viasat Government Systems president Ken Peterman said: “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.

“US 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.”

The UH-60 Black Hawk is a multi-mission helicopter developed by Sikorsky. It has been operational in the US Army since 1978.

Last week, Viasat demonstrated its NetAgility Virtual and Mobile Software Defined Networking (SDN) bonding router at the US Army’s Cyber Quest 2020 exercise.