Hughes Network Systems to Add HeloSat Tech to Telespazio Unmanned Helicopters

Hughes Network Systems announced that Telespazio, a joint venture between Thales and Leonardo, will deploy its HeloSat solution for satellite communications (SATCOM). The rollout will specifically cover SATCOM for Leonardo helicopters.

The technology is expected to support connectivity for Leonard SW-4 Solo unmanned and optionally piloted crafts, with HeloSat enabling “through-the-rotor” connectivity using the Athena-Fidus Ka-band satellite capacity and Telespazio ground station in Fucino, Italy. Specific elements include Hughes’ HM100 gateway and HM400 modem, as well as technical support and systems integration.

“Building on a decades-long collaboration with Telespazio … we are delivering a turnkey solution,” said Rick Lober, VP and GM, Hughes Defense. “With low size, weight and power, HeloSat is the only reliable, validated, wideband Beyond-Line-of-Sight SATCOM capability for helicopters to transmit uninterrupted, full-motion video in real time.”

The Hughes HM System features an open-standards architecture that supports resilient, cost-effective SATCOM aboard airplanes, UAVs (unmanned air vessels), ships and land-mobile platforms, in addition to rotary wing aircrafts. The system has been deployed for military operations worldwide, powering applications including Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR); search and rescue; emergency and disaster response; firefighting and VIP transport.