Integrated Microwave Technologies featured its Nucomm SkymasterTX digital COFDM video downlink transmitter at IBC2012.
SkymasterTX is a lightweight, full-featured digital COFDM video downlink transmitter designed to address the unique requirements of airborne downlink operations in news helicopters. With a built-in H.264 (MPEG-4) encoder and optional MPEG-2 encoder, it caters to users with legacy receive systems. Its ability to support both MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 systems protects IMT’s customers’ capital investments in earlier legacy technologies while enabling them to take advantage of the newest MPEG-4 encoding. MPEG-4 requires a bit rate of 50 percent less than MPEG-2, improving the reliability of the transmission. MPEG-4 encoding also allows users to transmit high definition video without sacrificing performance.
The airborne downlink transmitter has secure BCRYPT AES 128/256 encryption, ensuring seamless integration and interoperability with any standard-compliant equipment that customers may already have in their inventory. The chassis design features ARINC mounting, with all of the connections and controls located on one side of the unit. This allows users to remove SkymasterTX from one aircraft and install it in another with ease.
SkymasterTX can operate in a wide variety of bands, delivering high definition and standard definition video resolutions. It can output up to 8W of RF power, extending and improving link reliability. SkymasterTX also features COFDM digital modulation which, unlike single-carrier modulation formats such as FM, CDL or QAM, is unaffected by multipath.
The front-panel LCD and remote-control user interface allow for quick control of preset selection, standby mode and encryption mode. For such advanced functions as changing frequency plans, AES encryption keys or unit naming, an easy-to-use administration software package is supplied. Configuration is flexible, with 16 or more different presets available.
Mounting to the airframe is flexible, with either horizontal or vertical ARINC trays. This gives the user the option of mounting SkymasterTXto either the deck or a bulkhead in the aircraft.