Who needs a man? RWG saddles up to UAVs.


The AUVSI unmanned systems show gets underway in Denver this week and as you can see from the photo above the Flightglobal team-members will have virtually no place to stretch their legs in the newsroom.

I know we don’t generally discuss UAVs on RWG (okay, we never discuss UAVs on RWG, although, as a single lady, I have grown accustomed to being “unmanned”, ahem), but I think now is a good time to start.

Why’s that RWG?

Well, Denmark-headquartered satellite communications equipment provider Thrane & Thrane is ready to make a splash at AUVSI by showcasing its AVIATOR hardware series, which supports Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband aeronautical service and provides several connectivity options for small, medium and large UAVs.

Plus, Thrane & Thrane was kind enough to supply me with this handy chart, which breaks down each solution for those of us who love handy charts (you’ll need to click on the chart to make it bigger and handier).


As referenced, Thrane & Thrane’s AVIATOR 200 system – with its low-gain antenna – simultaneously provides data speeds up to 200 Kbps and a single AMBE 2 channel for real-time video, data and voice relay links between the aircraft and ground control stations.

AVIATOR 200 was first launched in May at EBACE, where the system was billed as capable of offering reliable, affordable connectivity to the broadest range of aircraft possible. It turns out that UAVs are part of that remit (in addition to business and regional aircraft).

Thrane & Thrane regional sales manager, aeronautical sales Scott Hall calls the AVIATOR 200 “a great alternative” to air-to-ground (ATG)-based connectivity solutions, which are usually found on Tier II UAVs.

The AVIATOR 300 system, meanwhile, features an intermediate gain antenna and data speeds of up to 332 Kbps while the AVIATOR 350 system with a high-gain antenna and data speeds of 432 Kbps works well on Tier III UAVs like the Predator and the Global Hawk. These solutions were formerly known as Aero-SB Lite.

The AVIATOR 350 can augment current Ku-band satellite-based systems already installed on large-sized, beyond-line-of-sight UAVs but it also provides a good standalone option as it is much smaller and lighter than Ku systems, says Hall.

Additionally, while the data rates aren’t as fast as Ku, it doesn’t have a problem seeing through clouds at lower altitudes (as can be the case with Ku). Expect more news from Thrane & Thrane in the coming days.

Meanwhile, for everything AUVSI (news stories, blogs, videos, images and tweets), you know where you need to go – Flightglobal’s dedicated AUVSI page. My managing editor Stephen “The Dew Line” Trimble won’t be alone in the newsroom for long. Soon, he will be joined by other staffers and I’m already hearing word that they’ll use all that space to do a rhythmic gymnastics display, with ribbons and beach balls.

See related blog post – Taking on scrappy: Inmarsat launches SB200

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3 Responses to Who needs a man? RWG saddles up to UAVs.

  1. Gary Mortimer August 24, 2010 at 2:10 am #

    Are you discussing UAS now because your coverage of them at Farnborough was so woeful???

    Are unmanned systems in fact the only exciting show in town at the moment??

  2. michael August 24, 2010 at 2:34 am #

    We really need to get Alexis some friends …

  3. Dave August 25, 2010 at 3:38 am #

    Maybe you should ask if they think the robots will try to overthrow their human oppressors while you’re there… that could be fun. You could capture their reaction on your cell phone cam and post them.

    I knew that looked like Steve… He’s like my equivalent of Yoda or Obi Wan (more Yoda though).

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