General Atomics has tested a laser satellite communications system for drones. The system was developed for the drone drone MQ-9 Reaper, writes Flightglobal.
Laser systems of satellite communications, according to their developers, will significantly increase the speed of data transmission from Earth to orbit and to any object in the air. In addition, such systems will reduce the likelihood of signal interception.
The MQ-9B Reaper drone entered service with the United States in 2007 and was previously used for reconnaissance and missile attacks on ground targets. The aircraft is capable of carrying 680 kg of missiles and bombs; its maximum speed is 482 km/h.
The system will be built on the basis of the LCT135 terminal, which is already in orbit. It supports data exchange at speeds up to 1.8 Gb/s, and also ensures their transmission over distances of up to 80 thousand km.
System tests took place on the island of Tenerife in the Atlantic Ocean. Their goal was to test the ability of a solution to transmit information with a satellite in orbit to an aircraft. Other test details are not disclosed.