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Close Support: SatCom for UAV & Manned Aircraft
Key Is a Satellite Link for BLoS

Unmanned aerial vehicles and manned aircraft are increasingly being used as vehicles to capture intelligence data for defense, state and civil applications. The aerial vehicles are equipped with technology for both video and data collection that are communicated to a command centre for further processing. When outside the reach of direct data relays due to distance or environment (e.g. mountainous regions) satellite communications will be used for beyond-line-of-sight (BLoS) communication.

UAVgraph Key in the satellite link for BLoS is to get as much data and video as possible through the available bandwidth. Only through the highest possible efficiency can increasing data and traffic demands be attained whilst still taking OPEX costs into consideration. During operations the satellite link needs to be available at all times to assure mission critical communications and not endanger ground operations.


Defense, Civil and State Applications
The unmanned and manned aerial vehicles are deployed for a wide range of operations within government applications and are key enablers for achieving full situational awareness. The more data that can be collected the better the assessment of any given situation. This leads to the most appropriate actions being taken. Applications for the manned and unmanned systems are:

UAVFig1 • Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR)
• Border Control (smuggling, illegal immigration…)
• Maritime Surveillance (ship tracking, anti-piracy…)
• Emergency Response Support
• Disaster Relief
• Search and Rescue
• Environmental Monitoring (forest fire, oil spillage)
• Weather Monitoring (ash cloud)
• Infrastructure Monitoring (pipelines, power grids, oil rigs)
• Event Monitoring
• Convoy Protection

The average data and video relay for BLoS will grow to 40-100 Mbps and beyond in a couple of years.

How it Works
FlexACM® technology for UAV and manned aircraft ensures more efficient beyond-line-of-sight communications. At the same time optimal availability can be achieved in any fading condition (inclined orbit, weather, dust, interference) to keep mission critical communications running at all times.

UAVFig2 Data and video are relayed over the satellite link between the command centre and the aerial vehicle in a point-to-point or star (Point-to-MultiPoint) configuration. Newtec satellite modems, hubs or modulation boards are installed in the command centre, as well as in the aerial vehicles, and run the FlexACM technology.

FlexACM combines the DVB-S2 standard with a set of technologies in order to double the throughput in the same bandwidth for both video and data. The command centre receives even more data and video info from the aerial vehicle than before to get a better assessment of the situation.

Best-of-Trade COTS Equipment
Newtec has a track record of installations in both unmanned and manned aerial vehicles and can reflect on an installed base of thousands of units in both video broadcasting and IP data communications over satellite. These are for both civil and government applications. Over the years Newtec has built an outstanding reputation for its quality and reliability.

UAVFig3 The Newtec modulation units (modems) and boards are based on DVB-S2, the adopted standard for communication over satellite for both video and data allowing full interoperability.

Easy Integration
Newtec modem units and (de)modulation boards have successfully been integrated in UAV and piloted planes providing solutions over satellites worldwide.

Newtec modulators, modems and demodulators fit perfectly into rack space at the command centre or in manned aeroplanes. Both video and data can be transmitted through one modem in the same satellite carrier in the most efficient way.

Newtec Modulation and Demodulation boards can be integrated in aerial systems and terminals where payload and form factor are critical. The boards have the smallest form factor in the COTS market. Their light weight and low power consumption extends the aerial vehicle reach significantly.

Double Throughput in Same Bandwidth
Experts in the operation of UAV and piloted planes indicate a growing demand in data and video rates over satellite due to new technologies (3D, HD, Gorgon stare, etc.) and the growing number of missions. The increase in rates is matched by a lack of satellite capacity in some areas of operation.

UAVFig4 In order to overcome these constraints Newtec deploys FlexACM technology in its equipment. FlexACM uses the full capability of DVB-S2 and combines it with different technologies to get as much data through the same satellite bandwidth as possible.

FlexACM will auto-adaptively set modulation parameters to the optimal point and overcomes distortion, noise and variation in the satellite link. Newtec gets as close to the zero margin limit as possible allowing the full use of the satelite link.

With FlexACM video and data rates can be doubled in the same bandwidth without the need to acquire extra satellite capacity.

Optimal Availability
During missions in-flight unmanned and manned aircraft regularly encounter fading conditions which disturbs the transmission of video and data over satellite. Fading conditions can be caused by many different circumstances: the choice of satellite (inclined orbit, rain fade in Ku-, Ka- and X-band), interference (between two adjacent satellites) or blocking of antenna (wing, tail, mountain, tracking loss).

UAVFig5 Thanks to the auto-adaptive technology incorporated in Newtec’s FlexACM, fading conditions will no longer interrupt the transmission nor will such result in the loss of video or data. In fading conditions, FlexACM will switch to more robust modulation and provide optimal availability.

As soon as the fading conditions are over, FlexACM technology automatically switches back to maximum efficiency. During the entire operation, it is possible to sustain Committed Information Rates (CIR).

Data and Video Relay Optimization
Optimizing the data and video link between the aircraft and the ground station is a continuous process that needs to take changing conditions into consideration at all time.

Newtec was the first in the market to introduce Cross-Layer-Optimization™ technology. This technology is available as software, TelliTec (which can smoothly be integrated into existing infrastructures) or as part of the Newtec equipment portfolio.

UAVFig6 Through Cross-Layer-Optimization, the satellite modulation equipment is in continuous interaction with Acceleration, Compression, Bandwidth Management and IP Shaping Technology. As soon as a satellite link condition changes the link will be auto-optimized following Quality-of-Service and Priority Settings without the loss of data or link.

Cross-Layer-Optimization is available for both Beyond-Line-of-Sight (over satellite) and Line-of-Sight (direct) Data Relays.

For further in depth information visit the Newtec website: www.newtec.eu

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What Can FlexACM® Do for You?

Whether you’re active in IP Trunking, Government or Defence applications, in today’s data transmission business, you may encounter many different challenges.

• OPEX reductions
• Ways to do more business within the same bandwidth
• Fixed rate or variable rate SLA requirement
• Migration from Ku- to Ka-band
• Get the highest efficiency out of Inclined Orbit Satellites
• Serving areas suffering from rain fade
FlexACM® is the unique and market-proven end-to-end solution combining a range of technologies to optimize IP Trunking and IP Backbone satellite links in the most efficient way.

FlexACM can be used in point-to-point and point-to-multipoint systems, in one way (with terrestrial return channel) as well as in two-way configurations (with the return channel also over satellite).

With numerous customers around the world having implemented FlexACM, Newtec understands the business value it is bringing to its users.

“Newtec’s FlexACM solution offers higher quality, lower operational costs and significant bandwidth gains” — Chris Young, CTO at Gateway

FlexACM How Does FlexACM Work?

Compare FlexACM to a jigsaw puzzle. All pieces of technologies fit nicely into a total picture. The pieces of the FlexACM puzzle are advanced technologies such as DVB-S2 ACM, Cross-Layer Optimization™, the patent pending NoDE (Noise and Distortion Estimator) and ThiMM (Thin Margin Manager).

All of the pieces individually contribute to optimizing the satellite IP link. But once put together these pieces bring the satellite link to full efficiency. End-to-End.

FlexACM Advantages:

• Double Throughput
• Optimal Availability
• Cuts Down OPEX Costs
• Fit for Inclined Orbit Satellite Operations
• End-to-End Efficiency
• Proven Return-on-Investment
• Flexible Business Models
• Best-of-Trade SATCOM Equipment with Large Install Base

Inclined Orbit Satellites, An Opportunity To Drive Down OPEX Costs

Using inclined orbit satellites not only provides a good alternative in terms of cutting bandwidth costs by half; they also deliver bandwidth over regions where satellite capacity is scarce. The switch towards inclined orbit operation has repercussions on the availability of the services as the satellite footprint shifts in a predictable and continuous pattern. Therefore, it is more essential than ever to implement technology optimizing both throughput and availability.