Thales Alenia Space, serving as prime contractor, has signed a study contract with French defense Procurement Agency (DGA) to enhance communications between ground and military mission aircraft through a telecommunication satellite without interruption during extreme flying conditions (attitude, tight turns, landing).
The aim of Kit Aero Large Bande (KALB) which is translates asWide Band Airborne Kit, is to develop a high throughput airborne SATCOM terminal compatible with a wide range of aircraft including A400, MRTT, ATL2. Typically a Tanker equipped with KALB will be able to disseminate in quasi real time Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance information collected by fighters.
From 2014 onwards the Athena-Fidus dual use Ka-band telecommunication satellite built by Thales Alenia Space, will provide French Forces with very high data rate capabilities for deployed forces. The dissemination of tactical information between forces at all level has become a mandatory capability in recent conflicts, requesting ever increasing communications capacities.
KALB innovation relies on Thales group expertise, and will offer:
● an improved version of the standard DVB-S2 product to take into account airborne applications requirements (Spectrum Spreading and Enhanced Doppler capabilities)
● an innovative low profile active electronically steered Ka-band antenna (ANTARES-A developed by Thales Communications & Security) to allow more accurate pointing and increased throughput capabilities
A flight demonstration is scheduled to take place in 2015.