U.S. Air Force, Industry Demonstrate Improved Satellite Services for ISR

July 27, 2016

The U.S. Air Force and industry partners are developing a unique phased array for high-throughput intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) services for X-band satellite services.

During a recent display at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, Ball Aerospace and XTAR demonstrated that Ball’s Airlink X-1 antenna configured for the C-130 hatch was able to transmit 4.5 megabits of data per second over the XTAR-LANT satellite, a marked throughput increase over existing terminals, officials say.

“Ball’s Airlink X-1 represents a significant improvement in phased array technology that will provide the warfighter with vastly enhanced communications,” says Rob Freedman, vice president and general manager for Tactical Solutions at Ball Aerospace. “We are pleased to partner with XTAR to bring this critical capability to the men and women who defend our nation.”

The technology seeks to support the U.S. Air Force Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (TENCAP), a program created to explore national space systems and rapidly integrate capabilities for operational military decision-making, and the military’s airborne, ground and maritime ISR needs. The high-speed service operates over a lighter and lower profile antenna that can easily be taken on and off each aircraft without adjustments to the airframe.

"XTAR and Ball recognize the importance of being flexible, creative service providers to help AF TENCAP achieve its goals,” says XTAR President and Chief Operating Officer Philip Harlow. “XTAR supports X-band terminal manufacturers to harness their technology and create innovative, flexible X-band services for government mobility applications, for the U.S. government, as well as others in the global community of X-band stakeholders."

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