Harris Corp. and the Ligado Networks have formed a partnership to begin unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) flights this summer from the Grand Sky UAS Business and Aviation Park near Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Tamara Casey, chief technology officer for Ligado Networks, said the company’s satellite network will be used to provide BVLOS UAS navigation.
“The attributes of the satellite network that make it unique for this opportunity are that it operates in the mid-band spectrum,” she said. “This spectrum is really robust in terms of its performance and coverage.”
The satellite is equipped with an onboard power supply and also carries a 22-meter mesh reflector-based antenna built by Harris. Casey said it’s the largest antenna on a commercial spacecraft in North America and currently serves the aviation industry.
“What that extremely large antenna allows us to do is make sure we can talk to much smaller devices,” Casey explained. “We are able to support very small, very lightweight devices with minimal to no external antenna on them.”
Read the story at UAS Magazine.