Satellite Video for UAVs in Critical Missions

Satellite Video for UAVs in Critical Missions

satellite information
Specialist Fourth Class (SPC) Philip Amiot, with the 82nd Airborne Division's Long Range Surveillance Detachment, uses an AN/PSC-5 Spitfire UHF Manpack Terminal and a laptop computer to send still images by satellite, during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

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Thanks to their ability to take pictures and send video from a privileged position of remote locations, unmanned aerial vehicles are well suited for ISR missions. One of the most important features of a UAV is the ability to provide visual information from cameras to support mission-critical decisions. 

Tactical UAVs can often fly BLOS – beyond the limited range of point-to-point radio links. This is where satellite communication is a key enabling communications solution.

A collaboration between UAV Navigation and AnsuR Technologies from Norway would enable streaming HD video from small UAVs carrying a 200kbps satcom terminal.

AnsuR’s ASMIRA software solution provides the ability to optimize sending video and images for satellite communications. More than traditional compression solutions, the software, together with the Cobham AVIATOR UAV 200 and the antenna pointing solution POLAR-300, provided by UAV Navigation, can deliver cost-effective high-quality video transmission for small satellite platforms.

Integrated into the platform’s onboard network, POLAR AHRS delivers the attitude and steering information of the platform so the Cobham device may establish contact with the satellite. 

The POLAR AHRS, a device designed to meet the very demanding needs of the aeronautical sector, includes all the necessary sensors in a compact and small device to provide precise information to the servos in a gimbal or an antenna, enabling its control. Once a stable satellite link is established, AnsuR’s ASMIRA software delivers HD  quality video at rates down to 100kbps and can support SD quality below 50kbps, according to the company’s announcement.

Thanks to this partnership, long-range surveillance, infrastructure monitoring and search and rescue mission where videos are critical, good quality streaming is now available.