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Satnews Daily
July 27th, 2016

Ball Aerospace And XTAR Demonstrate To Air Force First X-Band Hatch-Mounted Flat Panel Antenna

Ball Aerospace and XTAR LLC have demonstrated to the Air Force high-throughput service using Ball’s industry-leading AIRLINK®  X-1 antenna configured for the C130 hatch. Ball has developed phased array “sub-array” building blocks that enable the X-Band aperture to be configured to meet the size, weight, power and throughput requirements for most desired airborne, maritime and ground platforms.  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 demonstration that took place at Aberdeen Proving Ground, continues XTAR’s support for the U.S. military’s airborne missions and its 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 degrees 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.

Rob Freedman, vice president and general manager, Tactical Solutions, Ball Aerospace stated, “Ball’s Airlink X-1 represents a significant improvement in phased array technology that will provide the warfighter with vastly enhanced communications. We are pleased to partner with XTAR to bring this critical capability to the men and women who defend our nation.”

AIRLINK® X-1 is a complete X-band SATCOM on the move (OTM) terminal which supports operation with Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) and commercial X-band satellites, providing operational flexibility. 

Philip Harlow, Chief Operating Officer of XTAR added, “XTAR and Ball recognize the importance of being flexible, creative service providers to help AF TENCAP achieve its goals. XTAR supports X-band terminal manufacturers to harness their technology and create innovative, flexible X-band services for government mobility applications, for the U.S. government as well as others in the global community of X-band stakeholders.”