As threats to global and national security have heightened, so has the need for a wireless communications network that can be easily and quickly deployed to and from any location. Space Data’s SkySat™ balloon-borne radio repeater system provides troops with stratospheric platforms to instantly relay critical combat voice and data communications between forward-deployed, on-the-move troops, or back to distant control elements under any conditions, including rugged terrain, remote areas and severe weather.
Developed for the military and first deployed in 2007, SkySat™ uses stratospheric wireless transceivers for communication where distances exceed terrestrial line-of-sight and satellite alternatives are not viable. This system allow war-fighters to instantly relay critical combat voice communications and data to forward-deployed troops or combat air support under any conditions, including rugged terrain, remote areas, and even sandstorms.
The current production version of the SkySat™ radio repeater payload operates as a military-grade UHF repeater, covering 225-375 MHz, but additional band coverage can be engineered to meet user needs.
Another increasingly common mission for the SkySat™ radio repeater payload is to carry additional payload, suspended beneath it, to altitudes above 65,000 feet. With the option for SkyEye remote imaging, users can carry out a variety of special purpose missions, including intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. The platform provides a short range two-way communication link between itself and the suspended payload to support command and control of , and low-rate telemetry from, the lower payload – all through the Space Data command and control link with its standard ground station.
Currently in use by the U.S. military, Space Data’s SkySat™ stratospheric platform extends the range of standard issue military two-way radios from 10 miles to nearly 500 miles. The balloon-borne system is easily transportable and can be launched by a one- or two-man team.