Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. is showcasing its new lightweight integrated airborne satellite communications solution for UAVs at LAAD 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on April 9-12.

Weighing only 10.5 kg and capable of transmitting 1 Mbps of IP-based data, Gilat's UAV solution is comprised of a ruggedized spread spectrum satellite modem; a two-way, on-the-move, flat panel tracking antenna; and a compact 40 W Ku-band block up-converter (BUC) and power amplifier. The tightly integrated solution provides a lightweight, compact and low-power terminal that is ideal for airborne applications that can be tailored to meet various end-user specifications and requirements. The miniature dimensions of the solution allow Beyond Line of Sight (BLoS) operations for very small UAV platforms.

According to Gidi Talmor, RVP Defense International Sales at Gilat: "The UAVs being used for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), as well as Customs and Border Protection (CBP),  are becoming increasingly smaller in order to enable easier navigation and longer flight times. As such, they require the smallest, lightest, and lowest possible power consuming communications solutions. In response to this need, we developed our system featuring one of the industry’s smallest and most compact aerial solutions in its category."

The UAV terminal utilizes commercial, geostationary satellite capacity to provide full-duplex satellite communication, linking the UAV to its remote control facility. The forward link provides command and control capabilities, while the return link transfers sensor data.

The terminal provides spectrum-efficient IP connectivity, adaptive in real time to varying link conditions, and operational in temperatures ranging from -40 to +60 °C. Built-in web and SNMP-based control enable remote management.