Business

December 13, 2013

Northrop Grumman reinvents satellite communications for aircraft

Northrop Grumman’s newly developed SATCOM system flies aboard the Firebird demonstrator aircraft during a recent demonstration.

MOJAVE, Calif. – In one year, Northrop Grumman took a satellite communications system normally used in space and transformed it into a high-functioning, low-cost communications system that can be used on aircraft.

The satellite communications system was successfully demonstrated on board the company’s Firebird demonstrator aircraft. Until now, no small communications system has been able to send sensor data to a satellite and back to a ground station at such a high rate of transfer.

“It’s a game changer for those that need high-quality, real-time data, but don’t want to – or can’t – have a large, heavy communications system onboard,” said Brett Amidon, director of Technology Development at Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems. “Our system provides beyond line of sight capabilities in a compact, lightweight, low-profile package.”

During the demonstration, the SATCOM system rapidly provided full-motion video to the ground. For demo purposes, the system and associated test equipment were housed within a pylon-mounted structure attached to the top of the Firebird fuselage.

The system’s small size saves a great deal of space, allowing more sensor payloads and equipment to be carried by the aircraft.

Northrop Grumman developed the SATCOM system using Gallium Nitride technology, which first gained attention as the source of brightly colored LED lights. GaN allows for high communications output while using very little physical space.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Turning up the heat

Lockheed Martin photograph Lockheed Martin ATHENA laser weapon system defeats a truck target by disabling the engine, demonstrating its military effectiveness against enemy ground vehicles. Latest evolution of Lockheed Martin l...
 
 

Sikorsky S-97 RAIDERô team begins final assembly of second aircraft

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., announced March 4 the start of final assembly of the second S-97 RAIDERô helicopter at the company’s Development Flight Center. Along with a team of industry suppliers, Sikorsky is developing two RAIDERô prototypes to demonstrate the revolutionary new capabilities in improved maneuverability and flight speed. The...
 
 

Sikorsky awarded $8 million contract for Phase 1 ALIAS program

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced March 4 that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded the company an $8 million contract for Phase 1 of the Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System program. Sikorsky Aircraft is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp. The objective of DARPA’s ALIAS program is to develop and insert new automation into...
 

 

Global Hawk sees decrease in cost per flight hour amidst increased operational tempo

The U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance autonomous unmanned aircraft system had another remarkable year in 2014, with a significant decrease in cost per flight hour coupled with a sharp increase in flight hours. The Global Hawk program has brought the system’s cost per flight hour down to the point of being half...
 
 
LM-AEHF

Ingenuity drives Lockheed’s AEHF program to production milestone early

Lockheed Martin has successfully integrated the propulsion core and payload module for the fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite nearly five months ahead of schedule. Reaching this critical milestone early a...
 
 

First all-electric propulsion satellites send first on-orbit signals

Two Boeing 702SP (small platform) satellites, the first all-electric propulsion satellites to launch, have sent initial signals from space, marking the first step toward ABS, based in Bermuda, and Eutelsat, based in Paris, being able to provide enhanced communication services to their customers. Whatís more, the satellites were launched as a conjoined stack on a...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>