Satellite Communication Technology in Action to Secure the Euro Hawk® Link

Satellite Communication Technology in Action to Secure the Euro Hawk® Link

September 2012

With this article, we take you to the skies, with our IP traffic enhancement and shaping technology which was implemented into the flagship Euro Hawk® Unmanned Aerial System (UAS).

Newtec has a track record of installations on both manned and unmanned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. We have 27 years’ experience dealing with high data rates and video transmissions over satellite.

A Joint Program

The joint programme between Cassidian, an EADS company, and Northrop Grumman, which developed the UAS, signals a new era for Germany’s Federal Armed Forces – and it is the debut of the largest unmanned aerial system in German airspace.

It is an important development in intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), in which Newtec technology is continually expanding into. For this specific project, Newtec was approached and asked to provide our expertise to ensure the right solution for the satellite link for Beyond-Line-of-Sight (BLoS) communications.

Maximum Throughput and Maximum Availability

The technology required needed to allow the most data and video possible through a satellite link whilst providing optimal availability to ensure mission critical communications. So Newtec has provided support to the programme by installing an IP traffic enhancement and shaping solution called “Cross-Layer-Optimization™”.

The technology is being used to instantly secure the downlink via satellite once the Euro Hawk has collected information. It seamlessly enhances the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) communication and at the same time includes comprehensive shaping and compression techniques. All technologies interact in order to optimise the communication link. The system can be tailored to provide the maximum availability and bandwidth efficiency to any application running for the Euro Hawk’s interaction and data transmission.

About the Euro Hawk

The Euro Hawk can stay airborne for more than 30 hours and fly more than 20,000 km before needing to refuel.

From an altitude of 20,000 metres – which is above the altitude at which civil aircraft fly – the Euro Hawk’s SIGnals INTelligence (SIGINT) system detects and collects information from ELectronic INTelligence (ELINT) radar emitters and communications emitters. It then transmits this information to the ground stations in real-time for analysis and dissemination.