Small satellite communications system designed for UAVs

June 18, 2020 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Small satellite communications system for UAVs
Honeywell has launched its smallest, lightest satellite communications system yet, specifically designed for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Weighing in at only one kilogram (2.2 pounds), the new satellite communications system is 90% lighter than Honeywell's smallest connectivity system and will bring some of the same connectivity capabilities enjoyed by larger aircraft to smaller unmanned vehicles in the air or on land.

The Honeywell Small UAV SATCOM system, powered by Inmarsat's global satellite communications network, provides unmanned aerial vehicles with global connectivity and real-time video streaming. Seamless connectivity, delivered through Inmarsat's comprehensive satellite network, is essential for safe and efficient air traffic management that enables beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) capabilities.

BVLOS allows unmanned aircraft to be operated remotely at scale, beyond the pilot's field of view. This technology can be used for a variety of applications, including unmanned aerial vehicle inspections, where it is estimated to double or triple daily inspection capacity. The combination of the Honeywell Small UAV SATCOM system and Inmarsat's satellite connectivity can keep vehicles connected even in remote areas or over water where other ground-based communications systems, such as 4G, are not available.

"Transportation as we know it is changing rapidly, and the need for connectivity is only becoming more important. As platforms evolve and new vehicles start operating both on land and in the air, it's critical that satellite communications technology evolves alongside them," said Amanda King, vice president and general manager, Aerospace Connected Secure Solutions, Honeywell Connected Enterprise. "Honeywell's Small UAV SATCOM system is a game-changer for these smaller unmanned aircraft that previously couldn't be equipped with satellite communications."


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