September 4, 2012
Military drones, new business prospect for commercial satellite operators

Warfare is becoming more and more high-tech. Innovative developments in military technology has seen not only more sophisticated machines and gadgets, but also a great focus on minimizing human casualty. Robots are now taking the place of soldiers in some aspects of warfare, and unmanned aircrafts are a crucial component of any mission.

With these technological developments, satellite communications companies are looking at offering their services for drones. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used for remote sensing and aerial surveillance require extensive bandwidth to operate. Drones are remotely piloted, and many of these sky-high vehicles rely on commercial satellite transponders to work.

According to Jose Del Rosario of Northern Sky Research the military wants to operate the drones using government-satellites but are now requiring the assistance of commercial satellites with the expansion of the UAV fleet. Bandwidth requirements of the technology mean commercial satellite firms are expecting to see increased demand from the military sector.

This isn’t the first time satellite operators are doing business with the defense industry. Proactive Communications, a US-Based systems integration company, has been supplying government personnel in the war-torn regions of the Middle East with vital communications support which then rely on satellite teleport facilities in Australia. Inmarsat has also been providing ground-based communications for troops in Afghanistan through its satellite services.

Sensitive military missions are expected to rely more on drones, which help reduces the human casualty in volatile regions. As such, defence organizations will certainly look more in satellite communications via commercial operators.

(Source: Washington Post)

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