November 10, 2022 – General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), SES and Hughes Network Systems (HUGHES) worked together to successfully demonstrate multi-orbit satellite communications (SATCOM) using a GA-ASI-supplied MQ-9B SkyGuardian® Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA). The demonstration took place on Oct. 20, 2022, at GA-ASI’s Desert Horizon flight operations facility in El Mirage, Calif. The higher data rate SATCOM transmission featured SES’s multi-orbit satellite communications service leveraging high-throughput, low-latency Medium Earth Orbit (MEO), and Geostationary (GEO) fleet, and was powered by a Hughes HM series software-defined modem and Hughes Resource Management System. The demonstration used SES’s O3b MEO system that provides fiber-like carrier-grade performance, scalability, and resilience that set the path to widely leveraging open architectures and achieving network sovereignty. SES’s multi-orbit fleet that delivers global coverage, high-throughput, low-latency and increased levels of security, was leveraged to show how unmanned aircraft, such as the GA-ASI MQ-9 series, can maintain high-workload, mission-critical connectivity and resiliency, even in contested environments. During the demonstration, the connectivity service seamlessly roamed between O3b MEO and AMC-15 GEO satellites. Later this year, SES will be launching its second-generation MEO system, O3b mPOWER, to further support governments through unprecedented performance, waveform-agnostic service and enabling network sovereignty.