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, 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."