VIASAT: drone-to-satellite communication

All projects, Ongoing projects


DeSIRE II (Demonstration of Satellites enabling the Insertion of RPAS in Europe) will seek to illustrate the benefits of the integration of space assets, such as communication satellites, navigation satellites and Earth observation satellites, with terrestrial infrastructure for enabling new services. It will further tackle the implementation of an initial set of elements for air traffic management and related safety issues in order to support the evolution of air traffic insertion regulations and standards.

DeSIRE II is expected to be a bridging phase towards more cooperation between ESA and European Defence Agency (EDA) on RPAS applications and capability developments. The project will demonstrate that services, such as environment and maritime surveillance applications, can be rendered with RPAS flying beyond radio line-of-sight through the use of safe and secure satellite-based command and control data links.

DeSIRE II aims to demonstrate how space-based (satellite) data link communication could be a key technology for future BRLOS operations in non-segregated airspace, because of its ability to offer global, broadband and safe communications for both payload and safety communications.

Satellite navigation also plays an important role for remotely piloted systems. With satnav, the remotely piloted craft can be directed without using ground-based navigation systems as reference. Payload data can also be precisely geo-referenced.

ViaSat Press Release

 ESA Announcement



Scope of Swiss team (ViaSat with Skyguide and AedelAerospace):

  • Non-segregated Airspace Integration
  • Robust and redundant communication
  • Integration with ATM systems