Ball Aerospace and XTAR demonstrate high-throughput ISR service for Air Force on first X-band hatch-mounted flat panel antenna

Ball (2)Ball Aerospace of Boulder, CO collaborated with XTAR LLC of Herndon, VA to successfully demonstrate high-throughput service using Ball’s industry-leading AIRLINK® X-1 antenna configured for the C130 hatch, Ball announced on July 26. The demonstration took place at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

In association with its customer, the U.S. Air Force Tactical Exploitation of National Capabilities (TENCAP), Support to Special Operations Forces, Ball has developed unique phased array “sub-array” building blocks which allow for the X-band aperture to be configured to meet the size, weight, power and throughput requirements for most desired airborne, maritime and ground platforms. This high-speed service operates over a lighter and lower profile antenna that can easily be taken on and off each aircraft without adjustments to the airframe.

In the C130 hatch configuration, the Ball terminal transmitted 4.5 megabits per second of data over the XTAR-LANT satellite located at the 30°W location, a significant increase in throughput compared to many existing terminals. Based on the successful SATCOM demonstration and in-depth antenna technical exchanges, Ball’s AIRLINK X-1 now is certified to access XTAR satellites.

“Ball’s Airlink X-1 represents a significant improvement in phased array technology that will provide the warfighter with vastly enhanced communications,” said Rob Freedman, vice president and general manager, Tactical Solutions, Ball Aerospace. “We are pleased to partner with XTAR to bring this critical capability to the men and women who defend our nation.”

AIRLINK® X-1 is a complete X-band SATCOM on the move (OTM) terminal which supports operation with Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) and commercial X-band satellites, providing operational flexibility.

This demonstration continues XTAR’s support for the U.S. military’s airborne missions and its efforts to deploy commercial satellite capabilities for Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) requirements.

“XTAR and Ball recognize the importance of being flexible, creative service providers to help AF TENCAP achieve its goals,” said Philip Harlow, chief operating officer of XTAR. “XTAR supports X-band terminal manufacturers to harness their technology and create innovative, flexible X-band services for government mobility applications, for the U.S. government as well as others in the global community of X-band stakeholders.”

XTAR continues to grow based on its unique support of government mobile communications missions, by understanding their parameters and developing resilient, secure, high-speed network solutions to fulfill missions, even in the most remote regions. XTAR helps government users understand and evaluate commercial products and services working together to derive solutions that are the right fit for special requirements