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Newtec equips Euro Hawk UAS with satellite communication technology

16 May 2012

Newtec has equipped the Euro Hawk unmanned aerial system (UAS) with its new IP traffic enhancement and shaping technology, Cross-Layer-Optimization, which will help download data secured by the UAS via satellite.

Newtec CEO Serge Van Herck said the Euro Hawk is an important asset for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations for Germany and its partner states.

"Newtec technology allows the most data and video as possible through the satellite link whilst providing optimal availability to assure mission critical communications," said Herck.

The Euro Hawk, based on the RQ-4 Global Hawk, will be integrated with a new signals intelligence (SIGINT) mission system to detect and collect information from electronic intelligence (ELINT) radar emitters and communications emitters.

The information is then transmitted in real-time to the ground stations for analysis and dissemination.

The new cross-layer-optimisation technology enables the UAV to detect and collect information and secure the downlink through satellite.

The technology uses comprehensive shaping and compression techniques to enhance the TCP communication while optimising the communication link.

Northrop Grumman and Cassidian were awarded a contract by the German Ministry of Defence in January 2007 for the joint development, test and support of the full-scale demonstrator of Euro Hawk system.

Rüdiger Knöpfel, unmanned project department head of the German Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB), said: "At 15 metres long, a wingspan of 40 metres and take-off weight of approximately 15t, the Euro Hawk by far outstrips other UAS types."

The Euro Hawk has an endurance of 30 hours, maximum altitude of more than 60,000ft and can fly more than 20,000km before needing to refuel.

The UAS has been designed to replace Germany's aging fleet of manned Breguet Atlantic aircraft, which had been in service since 1972 and were officially retired in 2010.