Demonstration of a Ka-band airborne wideband global SATCOM terminal
Since 2007, MIT Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL) has supported the Family of Beyond Line-of-Sight Terminals (FAB-T) Increment 2 program, recently renamed to the High Data Rate Airborne Terminal (HDR-AT). The primary effort of MIT LL focused on the development of a high data rate (HDR) waveform capable of supporting ~300 Mbps airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (AISR) data links from unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to a mobile ground station over the WGS block II satellite. To demonstrate the waveform maturity and applicability to this environment, MIT LL developed and tested a Ka-band airborne test terminal (KATT) to demonstrate the HDR waveform from the airborne terminal. The KATT features a custom high-power feed, a 250 Watt traveling wave tube amplifier (TWTA), a low noise block downconverter (LNB), and a custom tracking and pointing suite. MIT LL used the KATT to transmit both the commercial and HDR DVB-S2 waveforms from their Boeing 707 “Paul Revere” test aircraft to a custom Ka-band ground terminal at MIT LL, and vice-versa.