Inmarsat Successfully Tests L-Band Airborne ISR Service

By Caroline Rees / 05 Mar 2015
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Inmarsat comms imageInmarsat Government, a provider of secure global telecommunications to the U.S. public sector, has announced that its new L-band Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (LAISR) service has completed successful customer airborne testing and will be available for U.S. government customers by June of this year. This innovative new LAISR service will meet the high-speed, beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) connectivity requirements of Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (AISR) missions across the globe. Additionally, it will provide guaranteed L-band data transmission rates up to 10 Mbps.

Potential government customer applications for LAISR include: electro-optical and infrared; real-time high-definition video streaming; laser range finder and designator transmission; support of signals intelligence applications and synthetic aperture radar applications; unmanned aerial systems; and backup command and control.

LAISR allows transmission of high definition full-motion video and data from a variety of manned and unmanned aircraft, providing full situational awareness for the military and intelligence community. The service utilizes an integrated terminal that provides a simplex broadband return link to support AISR mission requirements and a full duplex channel for command and control. This capability can easily be added to existing platforms supporting Inmarsat SwiftBroadband service. Operating in L-band ensures the highest availability of service allowing aircraft to fly over urban, mountain and jungle environments, at low altitudes, in cloud cover and in dense rain. The satcom link offers an alternative communication path to mitigate electronic attack and eliminates the need for a communications relay payload or retransmission vehicles, freeing-up additional assets for AISR missions.

LAISR provides up to 10 Mbps simplex Single Channel per Carrier (SCPC) transmission for high-quality video and data unidirectional traffic from airborne platforms to the Inmarsat Satellite Access Station (SAS). The customer payload data is uplinked by a high-gain aero antenna using the standard or extended L-band frequency. A second channel using Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband service runs through the same single antenna solution, providing full-time two-way data communications to support the aircraft, its payload and the Monitor and Control of the simplex link/ SCPC modem.

Inmarsat Government has pioneered a unique capability with LAISR in providing uniform high-throughput AISR capabilities throughout the complete coverage area of the Inmarsat Alphasat and Inmarsat-4 (I-4) satellite constellations. This unique capability is enabled through the LAISR Network Management System, providing dynamic beam switching and frequency allocation across the 600 active narrow spot beams globally.

Multiple terrestrial and satellite options provide traffic backhaul from the SAS to the customer’s specific destination, which can include ground control stations, operation centers and remote terminals anywhere worldwide. The service operates on Inmarsat Government’s global, secure, scalable, redundant and high-capacity Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) network. It can be configured to meet unique requirements of U.S. government customers, and is managed 24/7 by a U.S.-based, security-cleared operations team.

“LAISR is a game-changing satcom service for AISR,” said Susan Miller, president and CEO of Inmarsat Government. “It has multiple benefits and applications that are unmatched in the industry, and will operate on Inmarsat’s advanced Alphasat L-band satellite, covering Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with further plans to operate globally on Inmarsat’s extended L-band fleet. Today’s volatile and rapidly changing world requires increasingly sophisticated AISR capabilities, and we’re proud to soon offer this new LAISR service in support of our U.S. government customers and channel partners,” Miller concluded.

Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact
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