Connecting mobile land forces while operating in remote regions is one of the greatest challenges, as all of the following requirements have to be addressed: 

  • Worldwide availability with high IP transmission rates and functionality even at high speeds and in difficult terrain
  • Self-initialising and self-aligning system (very short commissioning time)
  • Compatibility to different modem types
  • Quick and user-friendly installation on civil and military vehicles
  • Simple packaging of the system in IATA-compliant transport boxes (depending on antenna type) and inconspicuous transportation possibility
  • Reliability even under harsh operating conditions, such as strong temperature fluctuations, vibrations, shock and impact, etc.

Each individual requirement can be demanding, but especially the combination of them poses the real challenge.

Why are Ka-band communication solutions technologically interesting for SOTM? 

Ka-band solutions are well placed for operations needing very high data rates due to the availability of larger bandwidth (e.g. compared to Ku-band). In addition, good reception performance can be achieved with comparatively small antennas.

In contrast to Ku-band, however, the influence of weather (especially rain) on the signal quality is larger, which is why various innovative technologies are required here to reduce the losses. In addition, the requirements for antenna tracking are higher than in the Ku-band for the same size of antenna. 

The tests with a MOST MKa40 terminal have shown how the individual components work together and how external influences affect the reception. In particular, experiences could be gathered, which are the decisive influencing factors on the Airbus system architecture. All in all, a positive overall impression was gained and important optimization steps for the SOTM system development were identified. 

Airbus is the world market leader in secure satellite communications and ground infrastructure networks. For more than 40 years, Airbus has been delivering mission-critical communication technologies to governments, security forces and international organisations on land, at sea and in the air - worldwide and with high reliability. 

Airbus is trusted partner for the German Bundeswehr on SATCOMBw Stage 2 since 2006 and is responsible for the design, integration and supply of deployable systems, including the flight management of the two military satellites. SATCOMBw Stage 2 provides the Bundeswehr with perfect autonomy, security and absolute reliability for its satellite telecommunications.