Northrop Tests Satellite Comm System on Aircraft; Brett Amidon Comments

northrop-Grumman_BLUENorthrop Grumman Corp. has demonstrated a satellite communications system for potential application on aircraft.

Northrop Grumman tested the SATCOM technology aboard a Firebird demonstrator aircraft and the satellite system transmitted video to the ground, Northrop Grumman said Thursday.

Brett Amidon, director of technology development at Northrop Grumman’s Aerospace Systems, said the system is intended to help customers meet real-time data requirements without having heavy communications system onboard.

The small-size system was housed in a pylon-fixed structure on top of Firebird's fuselage during the test.

Northrop Grumman built the system using gallium nitride technology for high communications output with minimal space requirement.

The satellite video systems was originally designed for use in space but was adapted for the Firebird.

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