ViaSat demonstrated the use of its Ka-band satellite service for remote news gathering at the NAB Show last year. This year perhaps they'll show their recently approved VR-12 Ka-band satellite antenna system. Last week ViaSat announced the antenna passed industry standard DO-160G testing. It said the standard applies to virtually every aircraft, from general aviation and business jets, helicopters, and commercial jets to civilian aircraft modified for government use.
ViaSat previously announced flight tests that showed the system's ability to handle simultaneous transmission of HD video, video teleconferencing, VoIP applications, and Internet at aircraft-to-satellite transmission rates “upwards of 10 Mbps.”
Paul Baca, VP and GM of ViaSat Global Mobile Broadband Systems said, “We designed the VR-12 Ka system to be a form and fit interchange with its Ku-band counterpart. Customer experience has shown that an antenna swap is possible with a simple flight line maintenance action, allowing for a very quick adaptation of the aircraft BLOS [beyond line of sight] communications capabilities to meet mission requirements.”
ViaSat said new qualified production units are expected to be shipping within a few weeks. I wonder which TV station will be first to add Ka-band satellite capability to its helicopter fleet.
Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.
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