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  • Satellite Evolution

Iridium partner SKYTRAC supports NASA’s arctic environmental monitoring mission

Iridium Communications Inc. is proud to share that partner SKYTRAC’s Iridium Certus Connected® DLS-100 supported Platform Aerospace’s Vanilla Unmanned (Vanilla) UAV mission for NASA. SKYTRAC provided Vanilla Unmanned with reliable, real-time Command and Control (C2), telemetry streaming, GPS, and Iridium Global Line of Sight® (GLOS®) connectivity to support NASA’s environmental monitoring operations in the Arctic.

The Vanilla Unmanned UAV, Credit: Platform Aerospace

During the mission, the DLS-100 enabled pilots from the Ground Control Station (GCS) to have real-time C2 with the Vanilla UAV while simultaneously sending commands and receiving flight telemetry over the Iridium® network. Prior to Iridium, communication capabilities were either severely limited or altogether non-existent in the Arctic, making SKYTRAC’s satcom system essential to providing the reliable connectivity Vanilla needed to conduct beyond visual line of sight flight operations safely and efficiently.


“With small size, light weight, and low power requirements combined with the Iridium network’s resiliency to extreme weather and global coverage, the DLS-100 is an ideal solution for UAVs such as Vanilla Unmanned,” said Bryan Hartin, Executive Vice President, Iridium. “During its mission with NASA, the Vanilla Unmanned UAV demonstrated capabilities that Iridium is known for – the delivery of critically important data from any environment on the planet. In this case, the harsh Arctic climate was conquered, and the mission was a great success.”


SKYTRAC’s DLS-100 is an Iridium Certus midband product enabling real-time command and control, telemetry streaming, and photo transfer from UAVs. Optimized for solutions with strict size, weight, and power requirements, Iridium Certus 100 provides reliable, truly global connectivity for vehicles, vessels, and aircraft all over the world.

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