Miniaturized SATCOM – Especially for Drones

Miniaturized SATCOM – Especially for Drones

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Satellite communications, or SATCOM, is a broad category of critical technologies that helps connect aircraft to each other and to operators or air traffic control on the ground. Also within this category are technologies that make in-flight Wi-Fi or fleet tracking possible.

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.

Traditionally, satellite communications systems have been available only for larger aircraft due to the large size, weight and power requirements. A small, light satellite communications system has been specifically designed by Honeywell for unmanned aerial vehicles. With a new customizable design that’s 30% lighter than competing systems, Honeywell’s Small UAV SATCOM system can be installed in different locations on the vehicle to accommodate a wider range of platforms while ensuring safety of flight and avoiding unnecessary bulk.

Weighing in at only one kilogram (2.2 pounds), the new system is 90% lighter than company’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 company claims that the SATCOM system is a game-changer for smaller unmanned aircraft that previously couldn’t be equipped with satellite communications. 

The 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. 

The new system can keep vehicles connected even in remote areas or over water where other ground-based communications systems, such as 4G, are not available, according to