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Silvus Technologies developing StreamCaster variant for small UAS

A Silvus Technologies StreamCaster MANET radio paired with an Echodyne MESA radar is demonstrated during a US armed forces readiness exercise. (Echodyne)

Mobile networking company Silvus Technologies is developing a pared down variant of its StreamCaster mobile ad hoc network (MANET) radio, specifically designed to provide networked radio communications capability for small unmanned aircraft systems (UASs).

Company officials are preparing to release “our next generation” of the small UAS-specific StreamCaster variant later this year, Silvus Technologies vice-president of sales Jimi Henderson said.

“We've seen that as a key and demand signal in the market and we're working to help address that gap” with the new variant, he told Janes . Henderson declined to comment on specifics of the new MANET radio variant.

However, he indicated that the new platform would likely feature a significantly smaller form factor, compared with the StreamCaster Lite 4200, which is currently the company's smallest offering in the StreamCaster family of systems.

“The smallest radio that [is in] our portfolio today is the SL4200, but it's still too big for some of those small UAS platforms,” Henderson said. “We are going [to] continue to work on the size, the weight, and the power consumption to get down to a smaller form factor for the micro quadcopters” and other similar platforms, he added.

Silvus currently offers two versions of the SL4200 – the basic 2×2 multiple-input and multiple-output (MIMO) networking radio and a ruggedised variant, dubbed the StreamCaster 4200 Enhanced Plus (EP).

News of the new StreamCaster radio variant comes as Silvus continues its work with the US Army to provide MANET radio capability to ground units on the move, in support of the service's new command post architecture under the Integrated Tactical Network (ITN).

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