Airborne-qualified Satphone System Small Enough for UAS
Horizon Technologies has launched BlackFish, a small, airborne-qualified satphone SIGINT system that simultaneously monitors Iridium, Thuraya and Inmarsat satphone networks. The small size and 8kg weight of the system make it ideal for installation on both manned and unmanned aircraft. John Beckner, CEO, stated “Horizon Technologies has been listening to [its] customers, who want smaller, lighter systems and the ability to simultaneously monitor multiple satphone networks. They also want a common SIGINT product across manned aircraft and UAVs. BlackFish is the answer to these requirements and, like all [Horizon] products, is non-ITAR.”
BlackFish uses state-of-the-art technology and is based on a software-defined radio (SDR), equipped with powerful CPU and GPU processing capacity, and is a passively cooled system, ensuring maximum reliability and performance. The lack of moving parts ensures high reliability when operating in extreme conditions. It is fully qualified to DO-160.
Completely self-contained, BlackFish requires no peripherals, such as external RF switching, complex cabling or multiple antennas, which can impact overall system reliability. The highly sensitive L-band receiver front-end targets satphone communications, and the system offers maximum out-of-band rejection of interference frequencies, while being broadband and having an excellent dynamic range to handle near-far radio scenarios. Its proprietary software means it can be easily integrated with airborne tactical mission systems to look like one of many ISR sensors.
Currently in production, BlackFish will be on display at DSEI 2021 in September. The system has become Horizon’s flagship product and the company anticipates it becoming the ‘go to’ satphone SIGINT solution.