L3Harris Technologies has successfully demonstrated the integration of commercial space internet into its Rapidly Adaptable Standards-compliant Open Radio (RASOR) solution, marking the first deployment of military-grade satellite communications assets in low-Earth orbit. 

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems conducted the live unmanned air combat manoeuvre demonstration, showcasing the advantages of a truly modular open systems approach (MOSA).

During the April 2023 event, L3Harris deployed two RASOR multifunctional processors to support beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) command-and-control and data-movement capabilities. 

One processor housed the transceiver card, and the other controlled a BLOS active electronically scanned array, demonstrating a cross-industry deployment of military-grade low-Earth orbit satellite communications.

MOSA to provide for customer’s missions

The MOSA strategy aims to ensure warfighters are mission-ready across air, land, sea and space, and L3Harris’ RASOR solution is size, weight and power-adaptable, meeting specific platform needs and establishing new data pathways to provide warfighters with assured access to information.

“The successful demonstration illustrates our commitment to enabling commercial space internet capabilities for the United States and its allies on unmanned platforms,” said Ron Fehlen, L3Harris vice president and general manager of Air Force programs.

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Last month, L3 Harris announced they were to implement MOSA for US Army ground combat vehicles. The latest effort to integrate MOSA standards into ground combat vehicles was intended to help the army achieve its modernisation requirements and priorities.

Harry Boneham, an aerospace, defence, and security analyst at GlobalData, provided his take on the matter, “The MOSA strategy is intended to benefit planners by bringing down costs associated with upgrades and overhaul or avoiding these costs altogether.

In addition, the strategy will benefit US warfighters by allowing them access to the newest technology, which, thanks to the MOSA approach, has been rapidly developed and integrated into defense platforms. Additionally, it will allow for greater interoperability between assets as they can be tailored for specific missions within a system of systems.”

RASOR’s design enables rapid technology insertion and capability deployment supporting the near-peer fight and joint all-domain command and control operations. 

The RASOR chassis, known as RARE (Rapidly Adaptable Ruggedised Enclosure), leverages various advanced-manufacturing technologies and can scale from three to 12 slots with customised modules, which include L3Harris-proprietary technology as well as third-party solutions.

The modules provide a wide breadth of cross-domain capabilities with multi-level security, from resilient line-of-sight and beyond-line-of-sight communications to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, command and control, assured positioning, navigation and timing and electronic warfare.

This specific demonstration was intentional in highlighting RASOR’s applicability for US Air Force manned and unmanned platforms, primarily collaborative combat applications (CCA). 

Additional focus areas for RASOR are the US Army’s command, control, computers, communications, cyber, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance modular open systems standards mounted form factor (CMFF) program and the US Navy’s landing autonomous navigation technology for enhanced recovery to navy ship (LANTERNS) program.

The successful flight demonstration with GA-ASI follows a series of similar military-industry tests incorporating RASOR across domains, including events with the US Air Force and Air Force Research Laboratory.