GE Aviation has entered into an agreement with ViaSat to provide Inertial Reference Units (IRUs) for ViaSat airborne satellite communications on-the-move applications. The multi-million dollar contract will include various military and commercial aircraft programs.
“The inertial reference system technology enables pilots and operators the ability to connect to ViaSat’s Exede In-the-Air network and provide accurate orientation and positioning in real time,” said George Kiefer, general manager of Avionics Military Systems with GE Aviation. “This is a valuable benefit to users like government leaders or commanders in mission critical operations.”
The IRU is used for Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) and Command and Control airborne missions. GE Aviation’s IRU enables accurate pointing for ViaSat’s small aperture and flat panel aperture antennas, including the Ku-band and high-speed Ka-band satellites for the VR-12 antenna.
The IRU provides the same accuracy for the Ku/Ka low profile antenna, which are used in airborne satellite communications on-the-move applications. These antennas provide connectivity on ViaSat’s global Ku-band network and over the U.S. and Europe on the ViaSat Exede In-the-Air network. These networks enable applications such as real-time command and control and an “office-in-the-sky” for government and commercial subscribers.
The inertial reference unit provides the technology to provide orientation and position using Global Positioning System (GPS) data for a wide variety of land vehicle, airborne and seaborne applications for surveillance, target acquisition, and satellite antenna pointing. The reference unit combines inertial data and GPS data to provide the user with high-accuracy continuous location, heading, pitch, and roll data in both stationary and moving vehicles.
GE Aviation provides similar systems to many different types of applications for the purpose of warfighter protection and for satellite communications antenna pointing for commercial and military use.