Viasat, AeroVironment team to develop encrypted communications capabilities for unmanned aircraft systems

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Viasat and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) company AeroVironment will collaborate on a contract awarded under the U.S. Army Reconfigurable Communications for Small Unmanned Systems (RCSUS) initiative.

Viasat is the prime contractor on the award, and will work with AeroVironment to develop advanced, encrypted communications for AeroVironment’s portable, hand-launched Puma AE tactical UAS, the company said in a statement.

The two companies will work on strengthening the communications and transmission security of AeroVironment’s Digital Data Link (DDL) radios, currently in use by the U.S. Army, by converting them into a Type 1 crypto communication system for video and data transmission, according to a statement by Viasat.

In addition, Viasat and AeroVironment say they will develop interoperability standards for enabling UAS to generate a digitally-encrypted communications network.

[Image courtesy: Viasat]