More and more unmanned air systems (UAS) of different shapes and sizes are in the air at any given moment and the customers on the ground and in the air want the images from those systems as soon as possible in a streamed, unobstructed way.
This requirement was made by the Israeli air force (IAF) a few years ago and Rafael, which, among other things, develops high-end military communication systems, took on the challenge.
The company is now offering a “dramatic” upgrade of communication systems for UAS operators.
Rafael has partially unveiled its DLV-53 wideband multirole datalink system, designed for intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) operations by UAS.
Ron Reiss, marketing manager of the company’s C3I directorate, said that wireless broadband has become a key infrastructure in ISTAR operations, enabling real-time dissemination of high resolution vision and search and rescue (SAR) imagery to remote and local information users.
He said: “The emerging markets of platforms with multiple sensors are challenging the datalink solutions in the 100m bits/s range and above.”
He said that DLV-53 is a leading, cost-effective, wideband datalink solution that combines easy integration into airborne platforms and ground centres, with enhanced flexibility to match a large variety of sensors and payloads.
Reiss added that, with its multirate programmable modem, which supports data rates from 200kb/s to 274mb/s and its on-the-fly adaptive coding and modulation real-time technology, DLV-53 enables data rate and spectrum occupancy control, as well as selection during operation without link disconnection, maximising performance in accordance with propagation and environmental conditions.
The lightweight and rugged airborne segment of the DLV-53 provides IP-standard interfaces to a wide range of payloads over a gigabit ethernet connection with built-in growth.
Reiss said that the highly automated ground segment of the DLV-53 provides the spatial acquisition and tracking of the airborne platform in addition to providing IP standard interfaces over a gigabit ethernet connection with built-in growth for remote operation from a ground station over a fibre-optic LAN VPN with up to 2km (1.2 miles) separation.
“We already perform the upgrade of existing UAS communications systems and at the same time we negotiate with additional potential customers,” he said.