Satnews Daily
February 23rd, 2017

Gilat's new terminal addresses the SATCOM needs of UAS

The growth and use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)continues to create new opportunities for businesses involved in the SATCOM arena, such as Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. (NASDAQ:GILT) (TASE:GILT)—the firm has just made commercially availability their ultra-compact airborne SATCOM terminal for UAS.

Tactical, long-endurance UAS are commonly used to gather and send intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) information to ground stations in real time. Reliable, high-performance satellite communications are crucial for ensuring uninterrupted broadband connectivity in beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) missions.

Gilat's BlackRay 72Ka terminal.

The newest in Gilat's field-proven family of unmanned aerial terminals—BlackRay 72Ka—combines high performance and throughput with a minimal footprint. Weighing less than 5 kg (11lbs.), the compact BlackRay 72Ka terminal is an ideal solution for even very small-unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The miniature BlackRay 72Ka is specifically designed to operate with the new generation of Ka-band HTS and supports data speeds of up to 2 Mbps for any IP-based voice, video or data BLoS application. This highly integrated terminal comprises best-of-breed VSAT technologies developed and manufactured by Gilat.

The BlackRay 72Ka terminal provides full-duplex satellite communication, linking the UAS to its ground control station. The forward link provides command and control capabilities, while the return link transfers sensor data.

According to Michael (Miki) Barak, the Vice President of Gilat's Mobility Division, the firm's unmanned SATCOM solutions enable customers to fully exploit the operational range of the UAS for both commercial and military applications. This new BlackRay 72Ka terminal addresses the tactical need for reduced size and weight, helping to increase mission effectiveness. The system's tiny dimensions enable BLoS operations for the smallest UAS platforms, with remarkable data speeds needed to support real-time downloads of high resolution images.