Defense technology company Perspecta says that its research arm, Perspecta Labs, has successfully demonstrated the use of a commercial LTE air-to-ground network for long-distance, high-bandwidth communications with aircraft at “well beyond Mach 1 speeds.”

The company says it has developed a solution that will allow the use of commercial, off-the-shelf LTE technology “to deliver high-bandwidth data communications at supersonic aircraft speeds,” which it recently successfully tested at Edwards Air Force Base as part of the Department of Defense (DOD) Cellular Range Telemetry Network (CeRTN) program in collaboration with the DOD Test Resource Management Center.

Perspecta first won the CeRTN contract in October 2016, when it was Vencore Labs. The company was to develop a system that “leverages commercial cellular technology for aeronautical mobile telemetry (AMT) applications at DOD Major Range and Test Facility Bases.” AMT, the company explained, provides crucial data for manned and unmanned aircraft for performance evaluation and safety. It is usually provided, Perspecta said, on “high-end, long range antenna hardware that must be committed to one test exercise at a time.”

In this case, Perspecta developed a solution that leveraged a ground-based LTE network. It says its Velocite technology is vendor-agnostic, provides a bi-directional high-speed data connection to an aircraft and doesn’t need per-flight frequency coordination, through the use of a proprietary transceiver applique that  accounts for Doppler shifts and “easily integrates with any standard LTE user equipment.” Perspecta said that Veolcite can maintain redundant coverage and seamless handovers, with “connection to multiple cells available at most points in the airspace” and “a nominal 20 Mbps throughput per link over a large part of the covered airspace.” It also said that its Velocite Integrated Cellular Network Control capability can be implemented without any Layer2/3 upgrades or modifications to the LTE base stations.

“The applique performs high-speed Doppler estimation and real-time frequency compensation functions to synchronize the test aircraft’s LTE transceiver in both radio directions with any desired LTE base station,” the company said. “The applique substantially extends the standard LTE frequency synchronization limit of 350 kph to fighter jetspeed.”

Perspecta Labs says it is further developing Velocite to support a range of use cases for AMT in performance evaluation, testing, training and operations for manned and unmanned aircraft.

In other test news:

-Chinese semiconductor packaging and test company JCET Group has agreed to buy Analog Devices’ test facility in Singapore and taking on additional ADI test work at the location. ADI is a long-standing JCET assembly and test customer, and ADI has been worked with JCET at JCET’s Singapore factory. The acquisition will expand JCET’s test floor footprint in the country, where it says its existing facility, built in 1994, was the first Outsourced Semiconductor Assembly and Test (OSAT) provider in Singapore. JCET said that its Singapore location’s test services include wafer sort, final package test, strip test, wafer bump and all wafer-level products.

The ownership transfer is set to be complete in May 2021.

Spirent Communications is touting its professional testing services work with Beijing Daxing International Airport’s various information networks, as the new airport prepared for its opening last September. The new airport has an “unprecedented mix of new network and communications technologies,” according to Shen Qian, director of global services for East Asia at Spirent Communications. “Assuring its information systems and networks maintain optimal performance at what is expected to be one of the busiest airports in the world requires significant test design, seamless execution and analysis, along with an acute understanding of complex network and information environments.”

Beijing Daxing covers an area of 700,000 square meters and has the world’s largest single-structure airport terminal; it is expected to serve 45 million passengers annually by 2021, and 72 million passengers annually by 2025.

Spirent said that its professional services team worked through the summer of 2019 to execute an “extensive four-month plan” for field-testing the airports networks, data center, security and other supporting systems, including Wi-Fi for travelers.


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