Small UAV manufacturers, take note: your efforts to build smaller, lighter UAVs with longer range and higher endurance are not going unnoticed. Time for a quick primer on what the established competition already knows: UAVs are Size, Weight and Power-limited (SWaP-limited) applications, and thus operate better in X-band – and the reason is simple physics involving (a) X-band’s high-capacity, weather-resistant wavelengths, and (b) the smaller, lighter equipment that can be used in X-band applications due to satellite spacing.
We’ve listened to government airborne users who told us that their needs fall outside the scope of full time service (too expensive!) but could never be met by traditional metered service providers (not flexible!).
XTAR and Satcom Direct, a leader in providing connectivity for airborne users for years, have forged a partnership to proactively meet this gap. We have introduced a new on-demand and minutes based service for aircraft transmitting at rates up to 12 Mbps. [Read more…]
EMC Using X-band for Airborne Terminal Application
XTAR, LLC renewed a long-term contract to supply EMC with high-throughput X-band to disadvantaged airborne terminals.
EMC is a leading provider of communications and content services for remote locations around the world. As part of the contract, XTAR will continue to provide space segment to Airborne intelligence, surveillance and recognizance (ISR) platforms involved in border surveillance missions. [Read more…]
Satellite connectivity is the key to beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) communications on UAVs. Traditionally, smaller UAVs (Class III with max weight of 1320 lbs and max speed 250 kts) have been limited to operating with line-of-site communications systems. Because they have not been able to accommodate large, power-hungry SATCOM terminals, which require substantial space on the aircraft, their operational range has been dramatically limited. Today, however, things are changing. New, smaller SATCOM terminals are coming into the market. As a result, new options are permitting these smaller aircraft to expand their range and therefore significantly improve their usefulness to the warfighter. [Read more…]
XTAR, LLC was awarded a 12-month indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract with a one year option, by the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to support testing of its MQ-4C Triton unmanned aerial vehicle. XTAR will provide space segment capacity to the Patuxent, MD-based command center for the contract with an estimated value of $1.8M. [Read more…]
XTAR, LLC has offered to provide X-band satellite capacity to search and rescue efforts and organizations operating in the wake of Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal. The company, which has full satellite coverage over the region, will subsidize its capacity for relevant organizations including government agencies and affiliated NGOs. [Read more…]
By Patti Aston
Lately there has been an increase in Ka- and X-band terminal manufacturing and investment. A new focus on mobility — the application for which X- and Ka-band frequencies are particularly well suited – and on smaller antennas, are driving terminal manufacturers to innovate in ways not seen before. Simultaneously, manufacturers are bringing to market terminals that readily accommodate multiple frequency bands and as a result more effectively match requirements to capabilities. Where it makes sense, government users will continue to use Ku-band – as they should. But, there is little doubt they will increasingly switch to Ka-band and X-band for on-the-move applications that require better performing, more affordable, and more agile transmissions. [Read more…]
By Philip Harlow
The introduction of vast quantities of Ka-band to the market has created quite a stir. Bandwidth is plentiful and cheap; it’s going to take over the world! At least that’s what some of the hype suggests. As the frequency band debate rages on, and as we consider how Ka-band is going to affect the market, X-band should take its rightful place in the discussion. [Read more…]
By Kelly Nicklin
Satellites cover the majority of Earth. That could be good news for military and humanitarian airborne missions which, by their very nature, must adapt to frequently changing circumstances. Whether manned or unmanned, airborne communications are only as good as the satellite connection through which they transmit. Ku-band may be sufficient in certain circumstances, and X-band may be necessary in another. Two or more bands may often be available in any given location, but airborne systems are not necessarily equipped with the onboard flexibility to take advantage of these options. That’s an unfortunate circumstance that could be avoided today. [Read more…]
I recently read that approximately ninety percent of the total data in the world was created in just the last two years alone. The DoD itself has an inconceivable amount of data from streaming video. The intelligence community finds itself inundated as data collection far outpaces analysis. Our industry is seeking ways to support efficient data collection since most of this data is relayed by satellite. At XTAR, we are watching the issue closely because we support an increasing number of ISR-related requirements. From an engineering standpoint, I believe data management must be addressed at a systems level in order to effectively pool assets. There are currently two main solutions using this approach, namely, multi-band terminals and on-board processing. [Read more…]