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Rockwell Collins performs over-the-air satellite communications milestone test


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa .- Rockwell Collins successfully completed over-the-air downlink acquisition tests with the U.S. Milstar satellite constellation as part of the Family of Advanced Beyond Line-Of-Sight Terminals (FAB-T) program. This milestone is the initial step in demonstrating compatibility with legacy Milstar Army, Navy and Air Force terminals and ensuring future operations with the DoD’s Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite system terminals.

The test was performed with qualified Block 6 Extremely High Frequency (EHF) waveform software installed on Engineering Development Model terminal hardware. Key components were also supplied by Boeing, L-3 Communications and ViaSat.

“This milestone is significant because FAB-T development has reached a point where testing is no longer limited to systems integration lab facilities and is instead receiving live communications from the Milstar constellation,” said Bruce King, vice president and general manager of Communication Systems for Rockwell Collins.

As part of the Boeing team, Rockwell Collins is developing the AEHF waveform terminal software and performing the integration of hardware and software necessary to communicate with both Milstar and AEHF satellites.

The FAB-T program will establish a network-centric Software Communications Architecture (SCA)-compliant family of terminals that use a common open system approach to link to different satellites and enable incremental warfighter upgrades for robust, secure, global strategic and tactical communications between ground, air and space platforms. FAB-T represents a key building block in DoD’s vision of the integrated battlespace of the future, where networked information and communications systems provide a competitive edge to decision-makers and military personnel.

The first planned increment of this product line will provide connectivity with the Milstar and AEHF satellites with the next increment including support for the Wideband Global Satcom on surveillance aircraft including Global Hawk, with other platforms to follow.

Waveforms supported by FAB-T will include the EHF waveforms, AEHF, Global Broadcast System, Ka-band Wideband Global Satellite/Transformational Satellite Communications waveforms and Ku/Common Data Link waveforms.


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