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ICG demonstrates Iridium satellite technology in successful airship trials

International Communications Group (ICG) was a major participant in a recent series of test flights to demonstrate new-generation "paint-on" antenna technology using a unique SA-60 spherical airship designed for high-altitude research.

The test flights took place June 21 in the Nevada desert. In addition to ICG, participants included the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center, Research Triangle Institute (RTI International); Applied EM Inc., Unitech, Sierra Nevada Techsphere Systems International and 21st Century Airships.

The goal was to demonstrate new, light-weight conformal "paint-on" antenna technology for high-altitude communications through the Iridium global satellite network. The antennas successfully transmitted Iridium voice and data calls from various locations on the airship with outstanding radio frequency performance and bit error rates.

ICG flew a four-channel Iridium aircraft communication package on the airship. In addition to qualifying similar performance between the paint-on antenna and standard FAA/TSO-qualified aircraft antennas, ICG demonstrated remote bi-directional data file transfers between the airship and various ground locations. Of particular note was the ability of the communications package to host

multi-party airborne connections among geographically separated ground locations, establishing the relay capability resident on the airship.

"This was an important step in the validation of this new experimental antenna technology mated to light-weight, low-power satellite communication systems for transferring remote telemetry data anywhere in the world through the Iridium satellites," said Ray Larkin, military and government programs manager at ICG.

Press release issued by Rockwell Collins - ICG on July 26, 2006

 

 Contact details from our directory:
NASA Langley Research Center Research/Consulting Services, Wind Tunnels, Testing Services
Rockwell Collins - ICG Airborne Communication Systems, Passenger Communication Systems

 

 Related directory sectors:
Communications (Airborne)

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