ATLANTA, 30 Sept. 2009. EMS Defense & Space (D&S), a division of EMS Technologies Inc., announced today that it has successfully demonstrated high data-rate transmission of its new X-band satellite terminal over the UK military communications Skynet 5C satellite.
The EMS antenna supports airborne and ground-based communication-on-the-move applications on all of the major X-band constellations which are being used by the US and UK military services including Skynet 5. The antenna's low profile reduces the size of traditional radomes used for similarly capable X-band communications by more than half.
The demonstration was conducted in the UK with Paradigm, an EADS Astrium Services company and owner and operator of the Skynet 5 satellite system. The test, which used about one-fourth of the antenna's total power output, still achieved substantial data rates – sufficient to support a high-resolution video feed. With the antenna at full power, EMS expects the link to support four simultaneous high resolution video feeds.
"Not only were we impressed with how well the EMS antenna performed, but also by the level achieved for such a compact aperture. Among other potential uses, our customers have indicated a definite need to reduce the visual signature of vehicle mounted communications. This technology can help us fill that need without sacrificing RF performance," says Guy Maddieson, Paradigm Innovations manager for Telecom Services.
EMS designed its X-band antenna to support the polarization requirements of the various X-band satellites. As a wideband two-channel antenna, it allows users to switch polarization orientation for both receive and transmit mid mission while eliminating the need to depot or field swap right/left hand orientations.
"EMS's X-band antenna is designed to give customers ultimate flexibility. Depending on where the theater of operation is, they can use our antenna with either Skynet 5 or any of the current X-band constellations," says Mike Fatig, vice president of business development, D&S. "The EMS antenna system's low profile is ideal for vehicles where minimal radome height is critical to mission success. In addition, either channel of the antenna can be dynamically switched between frequency bands and polarizations," he adds.
The Skynet demo in the UK culminates more than two years of internal R&D investment. EMS has leveraged the success of several existing communications product lines and heritage gained by having developed, manufactured and fielded hundreds of airborne systems.
Previously, EMS performed a receive-only test over the XTAR system and the company intends to perform a third test of the entire terminal before the end of the year.