Multi-orbit, software-defined SATCOM capability demoed by Hughes and SESNews
September 24, 2021
GERMANTOWN, Md. Hughes Network Systems and SES announced the first demonstration of a new multi-orbit satellite communications (SATCOM) capability for remotely piloted aircraft (RPA).
Conducted for General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), officials claim the demonstration paired Hughes HM series software-defined modems and Resource Management System (RMS) with SES’s satellites that operate in geosynchronous (GEO) and medium earth (MEO) orbits.
SES’s multi-orbit fleet, which is designed to deliver global coverage, high throughput, and security, was leveraged to show how unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the GA-ASI MQ-9 series, can maintain connectivity and resiliency in contested environments.
The demonstration replicated a typical unmanned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission, transmitting video and sensor data to and from the unmanned vehicle to the command center. Based on the mission’s pre-set policies, the RMS automatically switched the satellite signals to stay connected.