SmartComms, available as a standalone product or as a module within SmartConnect, provides the ability to link multiple communication systems together enabling heterogeneous mixes of mesh networks, SatCom and LTE in a swarm of UAS, any UxV or even crewed assets. This enables a C2 link for a swarm of assets to be maintained over a single SatCom. For larger swarms, multiple SatCom nodes can be deployed to provide redundancy or spread the data across the platform ecosystem.
The new SmartComms technology demonstrated the linking of 3x Blue Bear Ghost UAS which were too small to carry a SatCom terminal together with a larger Blue Bear Red Kite UAS carrying a Cobham Aviator 200 SatCom. This enables all the smaller UAS in the swarm to be controlled over a single SatCom link, and be operated at significantly further ranges than their standard terrestrial data links can supply.
Inmarsat and Cobham supported the development of the technology. Regarding this project Justin Hobbs, VP Sales, Inmarsat Global Government said ‘As Government customers across the world investigate and develop the role of swarm UAS within their CONOPS, Inmarsat are proud to support Blue Bear Systems Research by providing the critical satellite communications services required for the C2 elements of swarm operation. As this exciting area of the market develops, Inmarsat looks forward to supporting more initiatives with Blue Bear Systems Research and UK MoD.’
‘This new technology will revolutionise the way swarming UAS can communicate over long distances with flexible multi bearer communications all linked together via Blue Bear SmartConnect and SmartComms technology.’ added Ian Williams-Wynn, Blue Bear MD.