Astrium delivers airborne satcoms to the Canadian Department of National Defence (DND)

  • Astrium Services’ AirPatrol is a military and secure satellite communications system, perfectly designed to target the growing market for high-resolution imagery transmission from UAVs, other fixed wing and rotary aircraft


  • AirPatrol is now flight proven and fully qualified for the “robust airborne environment” following successful testing in Canada


  • With AirPatrol and Skynet X-band satellite capacity, Astrium Services will enable the Canadian DND to evaluate the operational capability of their coastal surveillance’s ISR platform


16 July 2012 – AirPatrol, the latest generation airborne satcom terminal from Astrium, has finished testing in Canada and is now “flight proven”. It commenced flight trials with the Canadian DND as part of the RIFL2E (Radar and Imaging for the Land/Littoral Environment) coastal surveillance project.

The system, developed by Astrium Services, has been qualified for operation in a robust airborne environment and is installed on board a Convair CV-580 aircraft. AirPatrol is now delivering exceptional broadband providing real time, high resolution imagery for Canadian coastal surveillance.

The RIFL2E project is designed to enhance coastal surveillance and support Canadian northern sovereignty. The AirPatrol terminal, together with Astrium Services’ Skynet X-band satellite capacity, will enable the DND to evaluate the operational capability of their airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) test platform.

Aidan Joy, Executive Director of Astrium Services’ Satcom Systems & Solutions, said: “This is a key milestone for our airborne satcom programme; we have achieved airborne qualification and airframe integration, and excellent results in early flight testing with the system achieving a transmission data rate of over 11 Mbps while accurately tracking the satellite via the beacon receiver.”

AirPatrol is designed for military and government customers who need beyond line of sight connectivity to their secure networks, and high rate transmission of sensor data for shared situational awareness and enhanced mission effectiveness. The modular system is flexible enough to integrate onto fixed, rotary and unmanned platforms.

This system represents the latest in a series of significant developments for Astrium Services’ airborne satellite communications business, and reflects the depth and breadth of expertise that make the company’s solutions world-leading. It follows the recent award of a contract from Yahsat for an airborne system integrated with a customer furnished phased array antenna system. Unique to the Yahsat system is a TDMA (time division multiple access) waveform designed by Astrium Services to optimise the performance of the phased array antenna – utilising a very high spectral spreading capability to maintain compliant adjacent satellite interference levels and allowing multiple aircraft to share the spectrum.

About Astrium

Astrium is the number one company in Europe for space technologies and the third in the world. In 2011, Astrium had a turnover close to €5 billion and 18,000 employees worldwide, mainly in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands.

Astrium is the sole European company that covers the whole range of civil and defence space systems and services.

Its three business units are: Astrium Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure; Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment;  Astrium Services for comprehensive fixed and mobile end-to-end solutions covering secure and commercial satcoms and networks, high security and broadcast satellite communications equipment and systems, and bespoke geo-information services, worldwide.

Astrium is a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2011, the Group – comprising Airbus, Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter – generated revenues of € 49.1 billion and employed a workforce of over 133,000.

Press contacts:

Jeremy Close (Astrium UK)                                                        Tel.: +44 (0)1 438 77 3872

Gregory Gavroy (Astrium FR)                                                     Tel.: +33 (0) 1 77 51 80 32

Ralph Heinrich (Astrium GER)                                                     Tel.: +49 (0) 89 607 33971

Francisco Lechón (Astrium SP)                                                  Tel.: +34 91 586 37 41



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