S-PLANE’s Payload Management, Communication and Ground Control Solutions, combined with suitable sensor payloads, are integrated onto rotary-wing and fixed-wing manned aircraft in order to create powerful Manned ISR platforms. Integration can be performed for new aircraft or as modernisation and upgrade projects for an existing fleet. S-PLANE provides options to upgrade these Manned ISR platforms to state of the art certification-ready Optionally Piloted or completely Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

Solutions include a number of S-PLANE products and services combined with industry-leading third-party equipment and services such as Satellite Communication systems and data services for Inmarsat and Iridium connectivity. S-PLANE supports its customers through system engineering, integration, flight testing and certification processes to ensure the technical and commercial success of every system integration. S-PLANE Solutions are designed and tested according to the principles of exacting standards, including RTCA DO-178, DO-254 and DO-160. Certification packs can be created on demand for every system integration.

Payload Management is provided by S-PLANE’s X-CUBE Lite appliance on-board the ISR aircraft. Sophisticated EO/IR, Radar, SigInt, WAS and Transponder payloads interface to the X-CUBE Lite. This appliance provides state of the art data compression, encryption, recording and routing functionality as well as RF link management to make optimal use of Line of Sight (LOS) and Satellite Communication (SatCom) links. It has processing power to spare for complex data and signal processing and fusion tasks customized for S-PLANE’s clients. As an example, the X-CUBE Lite easily captures 4 EO/IR HD-SDI and composite video streams, plus a number of additional Ethernet streams. It encrypts these streams, records them in high definition, transcodes them to lower bandwidth encrypted streams and manages the transmission of these streams via variable bit-rate communication links to remote ground stations in real-time.

S-PLANE provides sophisticated LOS communication solutions in the UHF, L, S and C bands with DES, RSA and AES encryption options and MIMO diversity links guaranteeing maximum link bandwidth, optimal connectivity and link security. High bandwidth links provide payload data streaming and command and control functionality and low bandwidth links provide back-up command and control functionality. Maximum communication ranges vary between 40km for omni-directional solutions to 200km using S-PLANE’s TRACKER 100+ tracking antenna sub-system with directional parabolic antenna and integrated communication links. LOS links provide mesh network functionality for multi-hop network range extension and direct connection to the aircraft and ground control station for forward operators.

Non-LOS connectivity is provided by optional SatCom links. S-PLANE supplies Inmarsat L and K band SatCom link equipment and the data services (background IP and Streaming) required to keep aircraft connected to ground controllers. This functionality is backed up by L band Iridium telemetry services to ensure that aircraft remain connected, always!

Ground Control is provided via a rugged and transportable Lite Tactical Deployment Unit (TDU Lite) serving as the heart of a Manned ISR ground station. The TDU Lite provides connectivity between the ground station operator and the pilot and provides mission and payload situational awareness to the ground operator via S-PLANE’s ParagonISR appliance. ParagonISR provides sensor payload stream geolocation and projection as well as sensor coverage and viewshed analysis functionality within a 3D terrain environment to optimise payload application and mission execution in real-time, ensuring that you get the most out of your expensive sensor payloads with every mission! ISR sensor payload control is provided by interfacing payload control equipment to the TDU and payload metadata is streamed to and exploited within ParagonISR. An Aircraft Control Station (ACS) version of the TDU is available to allow pilots and airborne sensor payload operators to gain the same sophisticated functionalities within the aircraft.

As a bonus, Manned ISR installations are ready for quick conversion to Optionally Piloted or Unmanned aircraft System status by upgrading and adding equipment and without re-engineering systems and architectures already put in place for the Manned ISR aircraft. Maximum re-use of equipment and architectures means that your investment is easily upgradable at the lowest possible cost and in the shortest possible time.

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