e2E Satcom has successfully carried out its first flight test of its new UAS-I Satcom communication for UAS.
The UK-based satellite communications software provider could download live in-flight telemetry data as part of the test in Salisbury.
The team conducting the test programme were able to send waypoint and flight commands to the aircraft over Inmarsat-L Band.
e2E believes the success of the flight trials is a major step towards establishing safe operational procedures for small UAS accomplishing BVLOS missions.
Barry Ross, CEO of e2E, said: “We have created an ultra-light, less than 1kg communications node which will open the sub 20kg sUAS market for future Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) operations, now having the availability to utilise satellite communications”.
The firm is hoping that making satcom available to these platforms as a resilient form of communication creates a justifiable and solid business case for safely extending the reach of UAS operations, globally.
e2E selected Callen-Lenz, a provider of comprehensive technology solutions and consultancy within manned and unmanned aircraft systems, as the official test partner for the trial.
Adrian Eves, CTO of Callen-Lenz, said, “Callen-Lenz are delighted to have worked with e2E to conduct the first flight tests of the UAS-I system. We have many years of successful BVLOS trials experience and believe that e2E are creating the right product at the right time to support wider commercial BVLOS applications.”
He added: “We look forward to working more with e2E in full BVLOS trials this winter as part of the BVLOS Pathfinder project. The three-year programme is being coordinated by the Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) and led by Wales & West Utilities in collaboration with: Cadent, National Grid Transmission, Northern Gas Networks, Northern Powergrid, Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks and UK Power Networks”.
The aircraft’s design was based on e2E’s innovative e2Eaccess technology that has low size, weight and power at its core.