Hughes Network Systems has successfully demonstrated a net-centric relay of low Earth orbit satellite sensor data to the ground. Hughes, which partnered with ATK, conducted two demonstrations for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center in July and November.
The demonstration included facilities in Maryland and California. The companies showed that sensor data from LEO satellites can be transmitted over commercial geosynchronous Earth orbit satellites and seamlessly handed off to the end user, according to a Hughes announcement, which continued: "The demonstration included cloud-based processing of data products and dissemination on handheld devices using an end-to-end information architecture hardened with cybersecurity measures and security operations."
“LEO satellites play a crucial role in data collection for everything from weather data to aerial imagery," said Rick Lober, vice president of the defense and intelligence systems division at Hughes. "Currently, these satellites relay their data to ground stations in the polar regions, introducing a delay. However, we can reduce this delay and also support operational cost reductions by transmitting this data to commercial GEO satellites.”