Global Hawk ex­pands satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tions ca­pa­bil­ity


The US Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk un­manned air­craft sys­tem (UAS) has com­pleted a se­ries of ground and air demon­stra­tions at Beale Air Force Base, Cal­i­for­nia, ex­pand­ing the adapt­abil­ity of the Global Hawk sys­tem to use an additional Satel­lite Com­mu­ni­ca­tions (SAT­COM) link to im­prove the trans­fer of mis­sion data.

At the re­quest of the US Air Force Air Com­bat Com­mand, Northrop Grum­man worked with Air Force part­ners to demon­strate that Global Hawk is com­pat­i­ble with dif­fer­ent SAT­COM ar­chi­tec­tures with no changes to the air­craft’s hard­ware, soft­ware or pay­load. Tak­ing place from Jan­uary 13-15, the demon­stra­tion high­lighted a unique split link ca­pa­bil­ity for Global Hawk that al­lows it to send mis­sion data through a satel­lite link that is in­de­pen­dent of the link used for com­mand and con­trol.

“This pow­er­ful demon­stra­tion il­lus­trates Global Hawk’s unique ver­sa­til­ity,” said Alfredo Ramirez, Di­rec­tor and Chief Ar­chi­tect of Northrop Grum­man’s HALE En­ter­prise. “We’re ec­static with Global Hawk’s abil­ity to pro­vide in­tel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance and re­con­nais­sance prod­ucts to op­er­a­tional end-users via mul­ti­ple paths.”

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