September 22, 2021 – Hughes Network Systems, LLC announced the successful first demonstration of a new multi-orbit satellite communications (SATCOM) capability for remotely piloted aircraft. Conducted for General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI), the demonstration paired Hughes HM series software-defined modems and Resource Management System (RMS) with SES’s satellites that operate in geosynchronous (GEO) and medium earth (MEO) orbits. SES’s unique multi-orbit fleet, which delivers global coverage, high throughput and security, was leveraged to show how unmanned aerial vehicles, such as the GA-ASI MQ-9 series, can maintain crucial connectivity and resiliency, even in contested environments. The demonstration replicated a typical unmanned Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission, transmitting high-definition video and sensor data to and from the unmanned vehicle to the command center. Based on the mission’s pre-set policies, the RMS automatically switched the satellite signals to stay connected – even when a signal experienced interference and jamming scenarios. A quasi-instant and smooth beam switch took just seconds to complete, allowing a near real-time capability that enhances the military’s Primary Alternative Contingency Emergency (PACE) planning.