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The use of military UAV has increased exponentially in recent years. UAVs are used for civilian government of autonomous aerial systems or drones such as Border Patrol, Emergency Response, Environmental and Asset Monitoring, and even law enforcement. Not only has demand grown for Military UAVs to perform ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance) as well as live battlefield situational awareness for warfighters and commands. At the same time, mission requirements continue to push for ever bigger and faster pipes. Users want higher resolution real-time transmission of video, imaging, and sensing data, and faster non-real-time data relays over satellite links to give warfighters an edge.

However, in many cases, UAV performance is limited due to satellite network bandwidth limitations when a UAV is flying Beyond Line of Sight (BloS), for example outside the home territory.  Therefore, military Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) use satellite communications for continuous Beyond Line of Sight (BLoS) communications. 

Moreover, the SpaceBridge Tactical SATCOM Network architecture for UAVs enables higher data throughput rates for UAV links. In addition, SpaceBridge ASAT™ VSAT system provides unique capabilities designed to meet emerging requirements for UAV missions.

  • The system allows remote UAVs to access large pools of bandwidth while achieving low latency, and high network efficiencies. It can enable whole new opportunities to better leverage available advanced satellites’ bandwidth.
  • The System is with built-in beam switching technology, very low latency, multiple uplink carriers, and perfectly synchronized forward and return links. SpaceBridge solution enables UAVs to use High Throughput Satellite (HTS) systems – and gain access to drastically increased bandwidth potential. Narrow satellite beams on HTS satellites also reduce the potential footprint visible to enemy jamming.
  • Synchronized Forward and Return Frequency Assignment provide resilience against jamming, and reduce the probability of intercept for large tactical UAVs.
  • Fast data switching, and very short data frames also enable the Drone Swarm Concept of Operations
Space Segment Efficiency

During a mission,  UAV bandwidth requirements can rapidly throttle up and down.  At one instant, an SCPC channel may be required to deliver the required throughput for streaming live ultra-high-resolution video or rich sensing data.  At other times, a UAV’s data link speed can be reduced, where it can return space segment capacity to a shared pool with other users and still meet mission requirements by using an MF-TDMA bandwidth pool.  SpaceBridge’s award-winning WaveSwitch™ technology seamlessly optimizes the system’s satellite access method to suit varying traffic requirements in real-time.  This industry-first VSAT System with “on-the-fly” waveform switching can allocate bandwidth to UAVs or groups in real-time from a common space segment.  Star or Mesh network topologies supported in the same system come with IP satellite link acceleration, optimization,  Network Management, QoS tools, and options for embedded and network military-grade security.

The SpaceBridge solution addresses the most demanding military and security applications. This solution is available in a variety of suitable form factors and supports OpenAMIP for mission-critical one-the-move SATCOMs.