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TECH SPACE
Astrium And Avanti Communications Launch Military And Government Ka-Band Test-Bed
by Staff Writers
Paris, France (SPX) Sep 10, 2010


File image: Hylas 1 satellite.

Astrium Services is launching its military and government advanced Ka-band test-bed in cooperation with Avanti Communications who will be providing the satellite bandwidth. Astrium Services has entered into a pioneering agreement with Avanti Communications to use transponder capacity for Ka-band tests on the soon to be launched Hylas 1 satellite.

The technology test-bed comprises a dedicated secure laboratory facility equipped with RF, modem and encryption and routing equipment which will enable government and military customers to work in close collaboration with Astrium Services' engineers in testing and refining future Military Ka-band system requirements.

System tests on the satellite will cover military use of Ka-band including tactical and comms on the move (CoTM) terminals in field locations. It will be based in Stevenage in UK and use proven in-house system and terminal capabilities supplied by Astrium Secure Satcom Systems

Astrium Services CEO Eric Beranger said: "As the world's first provider of military grade secure satellite communications to government customers we are continually looking at how to improve our services and solutions. Our goal with the technology test-bed and the capacity lease on Hylas 1 is to test and validate potential future service opportunities to give our existing and future customers an edge over the competition.

"Military Ka-band capability will play a very strong role in future Con Ops, particularly for very high data rate services to and from disadvantaged terminals in theatre. One area we are looking at is multiple Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) streaming real time surveillance data to support military or governmental operations across areas of military or political interest. Current satellite systems simply do not have the available bandwidth to support such operations."

Astrium Services' subsidiary Paradigm owns six military grade satellites with a seventh in construction and a network of dedicated anchor sites which are operated from highly secure facilities in the UK.

Paradigm provides secure communication links to naval, airborne and land based forces from the British Ministry of Defence to the US DoD and many other International Armed Forces and Government Agencies. Developing Ka-band services is key to meeting future military and government requirements which also include further services for UAS.

Malcolm Peto, CEO of Telecom Services division within Astrium Services said: "Working closely with our military customers on a day-to-day basis is a fundamental part of our business. On Skynet-5 we established a partnership approach where we meet with the UK MoD and our industrial suppliers on a regular basis to work through requirements and programme matters to ensure we continue to deliver the highest quality of service at the best price. Our approach to the analysis of future Ka-band capabilities is exactly the same; we are listening to the needs of our customers, which now include the US DoD, as we consider future systems."

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