Rockwell Collins has developed a smart mount that will give ARC-210 networked communications airborne radio users added satellite communications (satcom) capabilities via the Iridium satellite network. By accessing the 66 low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites in the Iridium network, users can achieve global communications coverage (see figure) in addition to the ARC-210 radio’s standard capabilities.
A smart mount adds satellite-based beyond line-of-sight (LOS) communications capabilities to ARC-210 VHF/UHF military radios. (Courtesy of Rockwell Collins)
The addition provides a significant improvement in the radio’s capabilities with little or no downside: “The smart mount will be a low risk and cost-effective way to bring the added benefits of Iridium to the ARC-210 system, delivering reliable communications no matter where the mission is,” says Troy Brunk, vice president and general manager, Communication, Navigation and Electronic Warfare Solutions for Rockwell Collins.
“Adding Iridium SATCOM to the ARC-210 leverages the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) secure gateway as well as the diverse and resilient Iridium NEXT constellation,” says Ken Flowers, vice president of Government Solutions for Iridium. “Integration requires no modifications to the existing onboard radio and will enable reliable voice, data, and position location information anywhere on the planet.” The smart mount, which was recently demonstrated to U.S. DoD representatives, extends the radio’s basic line-of-sight (LOS) range to full global capabilities, using Iridium’s satellites.