Sending live, high-definition video from the cockpit of a helicopter through its rotor blades and up to a satellite – with no disruption and minimal data or signal loss – has previously proved challenging. But now, beyond-line-of-sight satellite communication from a helicopter is possible, and Intelsat satellites are playing a crucial role.

a live, high-definition video transmission – via Intelsat’s Galaxy 18 Ku-band satellite – from an in-flight Black Hawk helicopter. As the Black Hawk flew over Tennessee, viewers from as far away as Spain and India were able to watch the live stream.

This is an exciting development for SATCOM, and our partnership with Hughes opens up new possibilities for our government aviation customers in supporting a variety of applications, such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, search and rescue, emergency response and airborne command aboard rotary aircraft.

In fact, we’re seeing increased demand from our customers for enhanced access to reliable, seamless communications anytime and anywhere, including from the air, because it’s essential for their mission success. So much so, that some have predicted satellite communications will soon become the norm on many rotary platforms. I don’t disagree.

We look forward to demonstrating additional capabilities with Hughes, including on our high throughput Intelsat Epic satellites, which could lead to even greater performance and impact. Stay tuned to this blog for updates on future innovations in connected rotorcraft and in-air connectivity.