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Satnews Daily
August 8th, 2016

Having A Ball With XTAR

Transmitting 4.5 MBPS of data over the XTAR-LANT satellite which holds orbit at 30 degrees West, in a C130 hatch configuration, Ball Aerospace' AIRLINK-X1 has demonstrated high-throughput service via the firm's collaboration with XTAR LLC.

This demonstration was conducted at Aberdeen Proving Ground with the US Air Force Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (TENCAP), Support to Special Operations Forces. Ball developed a phased array "sub-array" of building blocks that allow for the X-band aperture to be configured to meet the size, weight, power and throughput requirements for most airborne, maritime and ground platforms.

The AIRLINK® X-1 antenna was configured for operation through a C130 aircraft's hatch. This high-speed service operates over a lighter and lower profile antenna that can easily be taken on and off each aircraft without adjustments to the airframe. This SATCOM demo and in-depth antenna technical exchanges, AIRLINK X-1 is now certified to access XTAR satellites the demo continues XTAR's support for the US military's airborne missions and the efforts to deploy commercial satellite capabilities for Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) requirements.

In the C130 hatch configuration, the Ball terminal transmitted 4.5 megabits per second of data over the XTAR-LANT satellite located at the 30°W location, a significant increase in throughput compared to many existing terminals. Based on the successful SATCOM demonstration and in-depth antenna technical exchanges, Ball's AIRLINK X-1 now is certified to access XTAR satellites. AIRLINK® X-1 is a complete X-band SATCOM-On-The-Move (SOTM) terminal which supports operation with Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) and commercial X-band satellites, providing operational flexibility.

According to Rob Freedman, the Vice President and General Manager of Ball Aerospace's Tactical Solutions, the AIRLINK X-1 represents a significant improvement in phased array technology that will provide the warfighter with vastly enhanced communications. Adding his thoughts, Philip Harlow, the Chief Operating Officer of XTRA, he stated the both firms recognize the importance of being flexible in offering creative services to assist the Air Force TENCAP achieve all goals, with his frim supporting X-band terminal manufacturers to harness their technology to creative innovate and flexible X-band services for government mobility apps, for the USG as well as others in the global community of X-band stakeholders.