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Categories: 2019, Future Space

Sorting Fact from Fiction…a UAV User’s Guide to Beyond Line of Sight Connectivity

Current military operations rely on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for a range of Command and Control (C2) and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions. Many of these missions require Beyond Line of Sight (BLOS) communications links which can be implemented using a range of satellite communications (SATCOM) architectures. The range of sizes and capabilities of UAVs, the available satellite frequency bands, and the implemented communications architectures continue to expand.

Just as military commanders must choose the appropriate UAV for a given mission, these BLOS options must be carefully considered as well. This paper provides a detailed assessment regarding how prospective the elements of BLOS connectivity enhance or limit the specific operational capabilities of various UAVs. This paper serves as a helpful, fact-based input for the trade elements for selecting the optimum BLOS solution for a specific UAV mission. The ability of large UAVs that support large aperture satellite terminals and extremely high data rates are assessed (Group 4 and 5 UAVs). Smaller UAVs with challenging size, weight, and power (SWaP) constraints are considered (Group 2 and 3 UAVs). The effects of weather, geographic area of coverage, and loiter time are evaluated. Information Assurance elements, as well as the provision of low probability of intercept and low probability of detection (LPI/LPD) links, are provided.

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Author: Stephen Gizinski
Topic: Future Space

  • Paper Gizinski, Stephen - a UAV User’s Guide to Beyond Line of Sight Connectivity.pdf

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  • Presentation Gizinski, Stephen - A UAV User's Guide to beyond line of sight connectivity.pdf

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