Honeywell’s compact satellite communications technology will be used to bring safety, connectivity and efficiency to three of Pipistrel’s new aircraft, including the fixed-wing Surveyor and both unmanned Nuuva platforms, the V300 and smaller V20.
Weighing in at only 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds), Honeywell’s Small UAV SATCOM system is 90% lighter than the company’s next smallest connectivity system, yet the company says it brings the same capabilities enjoyed by larger aircraft to the Nuuva V300, V20 and Surveyor. Honeywell’s popular product targeting a rapidly growing new market segment, will for the first time be implemented specifically on an unmanned cargo or optionally manned aerial vehicle.
“We are excited to offer our customers a global communication solution, which is location independent and cost-effective,” said Pipistrel CEO Ivo Boscarol. “The addition of Honeywell’s Small UAV SATCOM to our unmanned aircraft platforms unlocks global beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) connectivity for command-control, as well as mission-specific data relay. Our customers will enjoy the ability to connect to their assets anytime, anywhere, without the need to set up elaborate ground-based BVLOS infrastructure.”
Traditionally, satellite communications terminals have only been available to install on larger business and commercial transport aircraft due to their large size, weight and the power required. However, Honeywell’s Small UAV SATCOM system is 30% lighter than competing options, customizable and can be installed in different locations on an aircraft to accommodate a wide range of platforms.
“Honeywell’s small UAV SATCOM system is a game-changer for small or medium-sized unmanned aircraft, such as the Nuuva cargo or Surveyor aircraft, that previously couldn’t be equipped with satellite communications,” said Stéphane Fymat, vice president and general manager, Unmanned Aerial Systems and Urban Air Mobility at Honeywell Aerospace.
The system provides unmanned aerial vehicles with global coverage and real-time video streaming to the ground. It also enables beyond-line-of-sight capabilities, so vehicles can be operated remotely beyond the operator’s visual sight. It can be used for a variety of applications, including logistics and delivery services performed by UAVs. Also, the Small UAV SATCOM can keep vehicles connected even in remote areas or over water where other ground-based communications systems, such as 4G, are not available.