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Advanced FEC in DVB-S2 Link Increases Throughput Using Frequency that Overcomes Spectrum Congestion

Fri, 08/20/2010 - 6:58am
  CARLSBAD, Calif., /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ViaSat Inc., in conjunction with the Office of Naval Research and Naval Research Laboratory, demonstrated the Tactical Reachback Extended Communications (TREC) data link during Empire Challenge 2010, hosted by the U.S. Joint Forces Command.

The TREC system transmitted real-time, high-resolution infrared image data from an aircraft to a ground analysis center at information rates up to 133 Mbps. In initial testing, a small, automatic pointing antenna developed by Ball Aerospace Corporation and a ViaSat one-watt RF transceiver provided repeatable, reliable transmission at 112 Mbps out to a 53 nautical mile range from an altitude of 16,000 feet.

Two important aspects of the TREC data link are the use of the 37.0 to 38.4 GHz frequency band and the implementation of the power- and bandwidth-efficient DVB-S2 waveform in the ViaSat HI-BEAM modem. Spectrum congestion has become a growing operational challenge with the increase in number of UAVs in the battlefield, but the use of this lightly-used frequency band overcomes that problem.

The ViaSat HI-BEAM DVB-S2 modems increase throughput to an information data rate up to 180 Mbps by using more advanced forward error correction – in this case Low Density Parity Check (LDPC) codes – in a small form factor package (2 lbs) with 17-watt power consumption.

A new version of the modem, which is expected to be available in December, is designed to enable the link to provide a maximum information data rate of 720 Mbps. The system also includes a low data rate ground-to-aircraft link to provide RF power control and reduce DC power consumption.

"ViaSat power- and bandwidth-efficient communication technology is meeting the Navy's need for a small, lightweight, low-power, high-speed UAVtoground data link," said Russell Fuerst, VP and general manager for IP and ASICs at ViaSat. "As demonstrated during Empire Challenge 2010, this technology helps the Navy to meet its high throughput ISR goals for Tier II and III UAVs."

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