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Tuesday, 02 November 2010 15:24

ViaSat demos HD video between mobile satellite terminals

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Satellite communications systems manufacturer, ViaSat, says it has demonstrated full-mesh satellite communications using an Optus satellite and an Australian designed antenna to stream high-definition video simultaneously in both directions between two remote sites.

The demonstration took place using a steerable spot beam on the Optus C1 satellite, an Australian Army portable 1.0-metre Compact Transmit Receive Suite (CTRS) terminal located at the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and a 48-cm mobile terminal located at BAE Systems Australia using a ViaSat LinkWay (S2) satellite modem.

According to ViaSat, "This demonstration further shows the ability of the LinkWay(S2) modem to simultaneously support satellite communications with fixed site, at-the-halt, and on-the-move terminals within a single tactical LinkWay network...

"The COTM [communications on the move] antenna was designed and developed as a concept technology demonstrator by EM Solutions Pty Limited based in Brisbane, Australia under contract to DSTO and has been successfully tested on an Australian Bushmaster Personnel Mobility Vehicle (PMV)."

Peter Weissmann, ViaSat business development manager for Australia and New Zealand, said: "This is the first demonstration of Ka-band broadband communications-on-the-move using standard, off-the-shelf LinkWay(S2) modems... [and] follows several very successful vehicular and airborne Ku-band mobile satcom demonstrations recently conducted in the US. It was also the first demonstration of the optional DVB overlay in a mobile setting, showing the versatility of the LinkWay(S2) platform."

He added: "The LinkWay full-mesh communication system has been a satellite networking workhorse for US defence over many years and with the addition of this new [communications on the move] capability, will increase its ability to provide network-centric operations, particularly over the Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) constellation.

The Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) constellation is, according to Wikipedia "a satellite communications system planned for use in partnership by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and the Australian Department of Defence." Five satellites were planned originally, but in October 2007 the Australian Government announced that it would fund a sixth satellite plus associated ground infrastructure at a cost of almost $A1b.

Boeing was awarded the contract to build and launch the six satellites, three of which are now in orbit. In August this year the US DoD awarded Boeing a contract for a seventh satellite.

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