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Specialized HM Series Modem Powers BLoS Communications for Remotely Piloted Aircraft
Hughes has begun its first shipments of specialized, multiband HM400 satellite communications (SATCOM) modems to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), powering Beyond-Lineof-Sight (BLoS) communications for their next-generation Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA), known as the MQ-9B SkyGuardian™. A customized, multiband satellite modem, the HM400 reflects how Hughes partners with customers to tailor solutions. Having satellite systems that can operate over different frequency bands allows global customers like GA-ASI to leverage the best technology Hughes has to offer, regardless of available service options.
For GA-ASI, the custom Hughes HM400 meets operational requirements to deliver enhanced satellite-based communications for RPA, leveraging an open system architecture and software-definable modem and waveform technology. The best-inclass solution supports both military and commercial satellite frequencies and can support applications such as search and rescue or disaster response for Predator-variant aircraft.
“Our goal is to deliver innovative technology to meet our customer’s needs. In this case, our HM400 modem was customized for GA-ASI’s resiliency, extreme environmental and performance requirements for their next-generation SkyGuardian RPA,” said Mark Wickham, senior program director at Hughes. “Shipping the first HM400 units on time was a great example of a team effort across the engineering organization, and we look forward to helping GA-ASI strengthen their new unmanned platform.”
Ideal for military operations in harsh or contested environs, the many benefits of the HM400 include frequency reuse for high operational efficiency, high throughput rates for HD video and data transmissions, and a low Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) profile.