Lockeed Martin Integrates MONAX with Aerostat
Lockheed Martin recently demonstrated the integration of the MONAX 3G wireless communications system with an aerostat platform demonstrating the ability to deliver real-time video and data directly to soldiers on the ground.
The MONAX communications system connects a commercial off the shelf (COTS) smartphone to a ground or airborne MONAX XG Base Station through a small, portable, battery powered MONAX Lynx user device, enabling the warfighter's use of a single, convenient, touch screen COTS smartphone for mission success at "the first tactical mile." The system is frequency flexible, connects hundreds of users to a single base station, and delivers superior range and link performance in voice, video and data transmission. The network uses a secure RF link, protected through exportable encryption for joint and coalition operations.
The integration demonstrated MONAX's ability to provide coverage over a substantial network area of more than 3,800 kilometers2 (70-kilometer cell diameter) with just one base station. During the testing, MONAX streamed real time video from the aerostat camera to COTS smartphones within the coverage area.
"The successful integration of these systems is a major step in the field readiness of MONAX to begin providing essential mission information and situational awareness to warfighters," said Macy Summers, Vice President of Advanced Programs and Ventures, for Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions-Defense. "Dismounted solders at the platoon and squad levels can now have access to an affordable private network that delivers the wide capabilities of smartphone technology."
"We were able to keep the system footprint small in terms of size, weight and power," Summers said. "The MONAX equipment aboard the aerostat, which includes an antennae and radio frequency to fiber converter, weighs approximately 90 pounds and is connected to the base station on the ground through fiber optic cable embedded in the aerostat's tether."