Inmarsat and the European Space Agency (ESA) has developed a compact satellite terminal for Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as part of the Iris air traffic modernisation programme, paving the way for UAVs to be safely integrated into commercial airspace.

Core technology

TTP will deliver the core technology for a low size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C) terminal with an integrated antenna. The advanced terminal, available later this year, will be suitable for almost all UAVs, providing a secure and always available datalink between uncrewed vehicles, remote operators and air traffic control.

The miniaturised Inmarsat terminal brings scalable Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations and will unlock a range of possibilities for flight operators such as telemetry for platform health monitoring, IP voice relay for air traffic control communications and data services such as video streaming for inspection applications. Optional hybrid connectivity will also be integrated within the terminal and can be utilised where cellular coverage is available, ensuring a seamless experience through the intelligent routing of data and services.

As part of Iris, TTP is also contracted for research and development of UAV safety services, for example last mile tactical deconfliction, known as detect and avoid (DAA). This, alongside the new UAV satcom terminal and technology from other Iris partners, will help deliver all elements needed for UAVs to safely operate in commercial airspace.

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