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Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes) recently unveiled a new HM Satellite System, engineered around its novel software-definable modem (SDM) technology and scrambled code multiple access (SCMA) waveform. Hughes is launching with three commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products for government applications.

The new HM System employs a commercially-based, open standards architecture and frequency band-agnostic platform that enables affordable, resilient solutions to meet a wide variety of mobility and portability requirements for government users. In addition to supporting fixed applications, the HM System provides satellite-on-the-move capabilities for airborne, maritime and land mobility solutions, including a complete, ultra-compact and portable terminal for small teams reliant on quick-deploy connectivity. The first gateway was installed and became fully operational in September 2015. The Hughes Airborne SATCOM System featuring the new HM200 Modem has already been successfully installed on a NorthStar Aviation Bell 407 Multi-role Helicopter.

According to a Hughes spokesperson, the basis of the new HM System is advanced waveform technology based on very low-rate coding and new multiple access techniques. The waveform utilizes advanced software-definable SCMA technology enabling high-throughput, as well as secure and efficient sharing of bandwidth.

The three HM System product solutions based on the new waveform technology include:

  • HM100: Enterprise Application Modem – A universal rackmounted hub that is transportable and offers high-throughput to support ground station SATCOM operations.
  • HM200: Satellite-on-the-Move (SOTM), Ruggedized Modem – A mobile, ruggedized modem for any communications- on-the-move (COTM) scenario, with real-time situational awareness and beyond-line-of-sight (BLoS) capabilities. Target applications include land mobile, maritime, and airborne platforms. The HM200 offers faster acquisition time, low power requirement, carrier-in-carrier capabilities, MIL-SPEC connectors, internal power supply and separate data and M&C ports.
  • HM300: Ultra-Compact, Portable Terminal – An ultra-lightweight man-packable communications solution that allows fast deployment and recovery while enabling up to 512 kbps of voice and data and is suitable for use in harsh environments. A complete terminal, the HM300 offers X-band communications with a small antenna footprint in a compact, low power package. The HM300 will launch as the portable terminal of choice for the XEBRA Service from Airbus Defence & Space.

Suitable applications for the HM System include intelligence- surveillance-reconnaissance (ISR), border patrol, search and rescue, disaster response, wildfire monitoring, oil platform communications, cellular backhaul and airborne BLOS communications.

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