Thuraya Ramps Up ISR Aircraft Connectivity Plans After Successful Demo

By Mark Holmes | November 14, 2019
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Abu Dhabi-based Thuraya used this Diamond DA62 MPP surveillance aircraft to demonstrate the ability of its L-band satellite network to enable the real-time transmission of HD aerial video and position data to a mission control center. Photo: Thuraya

Thuraya’s ambitions in the aero sector have been boosted thanks to a successful demonstration Nov. 13. In partnership with SCOTTY, a developer of beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) satellite communication solutions based in Austria, Thuraya has conducted a live demonstration of its Aero Mobility capabilities platform – Thuraya Aero, replicating a real-time Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission over satellite communications to key government customers.

The technology demonstration aimed to highlight the reliability and effectiveness of Thuraya’s Aero solution for various ISR operations associated with border patrol, maritime and environmental protection, in addition to disaster relief missions. Thuraya first launched its L-band satellite communication service targeting the small to medium-sized aircraft market in April 2017, with a focus on enabling in-flight connectivity for voice calls, text messaging and high speed data transmissions.

The Aero service is available within Thuraya’s satellite footprint, covering more than 160 countries across the Middle East, Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia regions.

SCOTTY´s Mobile HD portable receive station enabled the data transmission during the demonstration flight. Photo: Thuraya

During a flight test using a Diamond DA62 MPP surveillance aircraft, the network demonstrated its ability to transmit real-time aerial video and position data to a mission control center on the ground. The Aero network is designed to provide broadband speeds of up to 444kbps in single channel configuration and up to 700 kbps with a dual channel system, according to Thuraya.

The Yahsat subsidiary has not yet announced a timeline for availability of the network, but hopes to win new customers at the 2019 Dubai Air Show.

“By fulfilling the growing requirements for secure, always-on mobile satellite communications on land, at sea and in air, we are looking to expand our strong partnership with the UAE government. Today’s successful demonstration is a testament towards Thuraya’s capability to providing reliable aero mobility solutions to our global customers,” said Ali Al Hashemi, Thuraya’s CEO.

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