Hughes Network Systems reports that its HeloSat satellite communications transmitted consistent, real-time, full-motion video from a Black Hawk helicopter during a recent in-flight demonstration.
The HeloSat solution sent live, HD video from the cockpit, through the rotor blades, to a satellite and through to mission control within seconds as it surveilled a Tennessee landscape in a May 21 test, Hughes announced Tuesday. The HeloSat solution includes a Hughes HM series modem with proprietary through-the-rotor waveform, fuselage-mounted antenna and network management.
Hughes Defense Senior Director Wayne Marhefka said customers as far away as Spain, India, and the United Arab Emirates watched the demonstration via livestream. Marhefka said the flight validates the solutions’ ability to support intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, search and rescue, emergency response, and airborne command missions aboard rotary aircraft.
Partners GetSat, DataPath, Applied Concept Group, Intelsat and XP Services, contributed to the demonstration.
“Throughout the 30-minute flight, HeloSat maintained the live-stream video feed — something I’ve never experienced before on a rotary wing,” said John Wellington, chief flight instructor of XP Services, and former 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment flight lead, who piloted the Black Hawk for the demonstration. “Maintaining connectivity for the duration of the mission is critical, because when it is time to go, you need to be ready to go.”