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10 Nov 16. Airbus delivers satellite communications to UK Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows tour. Airbus Defence and Space is delivering satellite communications to the UK Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows tour. As part of the tour, which will include more than 20 flying displays, the 12 Hawk T1s of the Red Arrows based at RAF Scampton will perform displays and a series of flypasts across the Asia-Pacific and Middle East regions. Throughout the tour all assured voice and data communications will be provided by the Skynet constellation primarily through the newly relocated Skynet 5A satellite. The communication will also be provided through the anchor station managed by Airbus Defence and Space in Adelaide, Australia. The company opened this station in May this year in partnership with SpeedCast. Airbus Defence and Space Secure Communications head Richard Franklin said: “The tour came on air in the morning of 30th September 1000 (GMT) from their Far East location, anchored into Adelaide and by 1330 (GMT) that afternoon we had the service in and working on both voice and data.” During September last year, the company completed the 67,000km relocation of the Skynet 5A satellite from 6° East to 95° East. The move enabled the extension of Skynet constellation’s coverage and services from 115 West to 163 East, including the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific region. Following the move, the network now offers global military X-band and UHF coverage and expanded core service reach for the UK military. (Source: airforce-technology.com)
10 Nov 16. VStar Systems Launches MA-X Signal Intelligence Product Line.
VStar Systems Inc., a privately held aerospace and defense systems company, has announced the launch of a modular Signal Intelligence Sensor Suite for use on small to large aircraft, including UAV’s. The product family, jointly named MA-X Modular Airborne Signal Intelligence System, is a scalable solution designed to provide critical intelligence at a more affordable price point. VStar Systems will commence flight testing of MA-X in November 2016.
Founded by entrepreneur and U.S. Navy veteran Andy Von Stauffenberg, VStar Systems designed MA-X using a modular approach that is scalable to fit a wide range of applications, allowing the MA-X sensors to fly from small UAV’s such as the AeroVironment Puma, to major ISR platforms like the Global Hawk or U2 spy planes. With semi-customizable modules, a smaller aircraft can carry a single, specialized module rather than extra weight and associated costs from a sensor that does more than required for the mission. MA-X is the epitome of convenience and efficiency, integrating the commodity mindset and capabilities equal to even the most high-level sensors on the market.
“Traditionally, signal intelligence is looked at as a one-size-fits-all solution,” said Andy von Stauffenberg, CEO of VStar Systems. “But we do not believe that is the most efficient use of the technologies available. By taking a modular approach, we are able to break apart capabilities to provide customers with the right solution to their issues at hand, at a much reduced price. Smaller aircraft can carry a single module, whereas for the larger platforms, we are able to provide multiple modules to encompass the full spectrum of signal intelligence. We call it the semi-customized answer to SIGINT, by providing customers with a menu of capabilities to choose from.”
Lab testing of MA-X is nearing completion, and the first sensor module is prepared to begin flight-testing in November. Initially, flight tests will be performed on a manned aircraft and upon success, MA-X testing will be conducted on UAV’s. The first module in the MA-X line to be tested is MA-C, which provides communication intelligence such as signal copy and signal identification. Future modules include an Electronic Intelligence (ELINT)