[Avionics Today April 4, 2014] The U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) has expanded its ability to use satellite communications (SATCOM) links to transfer mission data.
According to the manufacturer to the Global Hawk UAS, Northrop Grumman, the aircraft completed a series of ground and air demonstrations at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., showing its compatibility with different SATCOM architectures. THe demonstrations required no changes to the hardware or software and highlighted a unique split link capability enabling transmission of mission data through a satellite link that is independent of the link used for command and control.
"This powerful demonstration illustrates Global Hawk's unique versatility," said Alfredo Ramirez, director and chief architect of Northrop Grumman's HALE Enterprise. "We're ecstatic with Global Hawk's ability to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance products to operational end-users via multiple paths."