[Avionics Today 07-22-2015] Boeing is completing the first tests of military Ka-band service available through the Inmarsat-5 F2 commercial communications satellite, part of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network. The demonstrations to securely transmit high-data-rate information have involved 10 major U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) customer groups on fast-moving platforms and with users at multiple locations.
|Inmarsat Global Xpress network, rendering. Photo: Inmarsat
Among these tests has been the successful sending and receiving of real-time high-definition video through rotating blades on military helicopters equipped with satellite communication (satcom) capabilities. The tests showed the capabilities of the Inmarsat Global Xpress network through its F2 satellite in handling data up to 30 megabits per second — higher than previous industry tests on rotorcraft — without signal distortion or loss. Other tests on mobile terminals showed how high-speed data can be transferred without degradation even in poor weather conditions and on terminals measuring as small as eight-by-eight inches.
Boeing has been conducting the demonstrations since May and they will continue through the end of July, allowing customers to test capabilities that will be available when Inmarsat-5 F2 becomes fully operational over the Atlantic and the Americas. These services are available in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia through the Global Xpress Inmarsat-5 F1 satellite, and will be available over the Asia-Pacific region following the launch of the third Global Xpress spacecraft. The tests have also proven Global Xpress compatibility with the Wideband Global System (WGS), the primary communications architecture for DOD satellite communications.