AUVSI: Gilat Satellite develops AESA satcom

Las Vegas
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Gilat Satellite Networks (booth 3315) has developed an active electronically scanned array (AESA) satellite communications terminal.

Currently the small device is in prototype form for land-based applications, says Eran Agmon, head of the company's defense business. But Gilat is working with two customers to develop an airborne version.

But it will not just be used from small unmanned aircraft - the new AESA system could be used on a many applications including satellite-guided bombs.

Gilat, Agmon says, can build the AESA antennas for a fraction of the cost of traditional active arrays by using a printed circuit board. The plannar array allows for cheaper manufacturing.

In the meantime the company has also sold the first satcom device for a small unmanned aircraft. Gilat cannot say who the customer is, however.