Honeywell’s Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Satellite Communications (SATCOM) system has been selected by small aircraft designer and manufacturer Pipistrel, as part of the outfitting for three of its new aircraft, including the fixed-wing Surveyor and both unmanned Nuuva platforms, the V300 and smaller V20. This will be the first time that the system has been implemented specifically on an unmanned cargo or optionally manned aerial vehicle.
Weighing 1 kg (2.2 lbs), Honeywell’s Small UAV SATCOM system is 90% lighter than the company’s next smallest connectivity system, but it enables the same capabilities enjoyed by larger aircraft.
The system provides UAVs with global coverage and real-time video streaming to the ground, and it enables Beyond-Visual-Line-Of-Sight (BVLOS) capabilities so vehicles can be operated remotely.
The Small UAV SATCOM can keep vehicles connected even in remote areas or over water where other ground-based communications systems, such as 4G, are not available.
The system can be installed in different locations on an aircraft to accommodate a wide range of platforms.
“We are excited to offer our customers a global communication solution, which is location independent and cost-effective,” said Pipistrel CEO, Ivo Boscarol.
“The addition of Honeywell’s Small UAV SATCOM to our unmanned aircraft platforms unlocks global BVLOS connectivity for command and control, as well as mission-specific data relay. Our customers will enjoy the ability to connect to their assets anytime, anywhere, without the need to set up elaborate ground-based BVLOS infrastructure.”
“Honeywell’s Small UAV SATCOM system is a game-changer for small or medium-sized unmanned aircraft, such as the Nuuva cargo or Surveyor aircraft, that previously couldn’t be equipped with satellite communications,” said Stéphane Fymat, vice president and general manager, Unmanned Aerial Systems and Urban Air Mobility at Honeywell Aerospace. “Now, they have access to everything we’ve come to expect from the large-aircraft experience, like global connectivity or fleet monitoring — but it’s been packaged in a size that is conducive to a much smaller aerial vehicle.”