Tue, Jan 24, 2012
Aligns State-of-the-Art UAS With Beyond-Line-of-Sight
Communications And Network Security
Two players in the unmanned aircraft arena announced a strategic
alliance Monday. AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems and ViaSat
will collaborate to align AAI's advanced unmanned aircraft and
command and control technologies with ViaSat integrated airborne
and terrestrial satellite communications, as well as its Internet
Protocol-based networking and security technology. Under the
agreement, the organizations intend to develop and mature
beyond-line-of-sight satellite communications capabilities for
current and next-generation AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Along with fellow Textron Systems business Overwatch, AAI
Unmanned Aircraft Systems and ViaSat collaborate on the Forward
Airborne Secure Transmission and Communication, or FASTCOM, system.
FASTCOM is an end-to-end, mobile cellular network that accommodates
Top Secret smartphone communications. Through this strategic
alliance, the two companies can build on the FASTCOM system's
maturity with additional third- and fourth-generation, or 3G and
4G, capability to further enhance battlefield communications.
"The performance and affordability of tactical UAS like our
Shadow system make them an invaluable battlefield asset with a
growing mission spectrum," says Senior Vice President and General
Manager Steven Reid of AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems. "Our
customers' unmanned assets need to be as flexible and capable as
the troops who utilize them, and this new strategic alliance with
ViaSat is one way that we're staying on the leading edge of system
development and integration."
"This new phase of the AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems
relationship is completely in-sync with our intent to continue
delivering industry-leading broadband performance over
ultra-small-aperture airborne satellite communication systems,"
said Vice President and General Manager for ViaSat Global Mobile
Broadband Paul Baca. "And our private satellite network services
can deliver the dedicated bandwidth needed to distribute tactical
UAS video throughout the battlespace."
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