Avantirsquos satellite HYLAS1 was Europersquos first Kaband satellite Image courtesy of the UK Space Agency

Avanti’s satellite, HYLAS-1, was Europe’s first Ka-band satellite. (Image courtesy of the UK Space Agency)

Technology Provides Easy Switch Between Satellite, Cellular Communications

Furthering the efforts to deliver secure defense and security cellular communications in remote areas, a new collaboration has proven effective in trial. Chemring Technology Solutions, Avanti Government Services, and Spectra have collaborated to bring SmartLink capabilities to Avanti’s Ka-band satellite system using Spectra’s Hostile Area Deployment Environment (SHADE) solutions. SmartLink supports military units in need of a secure connection and mobile network operators (MNOs) who need to extend their services to remote locations.

Trials of the combination technology delivered a range of cellular services using multiple handsets including file sharing, push-to-talk, situational awareness applications, video streaming, VoIP calls, and web browsing. SHADE utilizes a Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT), operating on C, Ka, Ku, and X-bands. The MicroSHADE solution helps create a secure “tunnel” for communications in transit, utilizing BGAN, Wi-Fi, or 3G. It is flexible and can be deployed globally by small teams or a single user.

SmartLink, as a highly-portable, cellular-network-in-a-box, has proven itself within a 5 km range. Because the SHADE solutions are bearer agnostic, the deployment of SmartLink is further enhanced by the ability to switch from cellular networks to a satellite network without the need for reconfiguring endpoints. This means that if there is a loss of terrestrial service or if there is a requirement to change location, the network can simply be switched over to satellite.

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