Honeywell Boosts Data Transmission Rates for Army Helicopters

Honeywell AntennaHoneywell is working with the Army to have helicopters transmit more data faster through a helicopter’s rotor wash allowing pilots to send videos faster and better communicate with headquarters.

Army leaders keep asking more from their helicopter pilots to include having some control nearby drones. Ground commanders are also turning most helicopters into intelligence collection aircraft by mounting a wide array of sensors on board.

The rotor wash above the helicopter makes it tougher to transmit data to satellites. Honeywell has since worked with the Army to develop a host of systems to improve the data transmit rate, which the company displayed at the 2014 Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference this week.

Army leaders want to bring ground commanders closer to combat and will depend on increases data rates from helicopters to set up these airborne headquarters units.

Engineers also had to keep in mind those extra sensors mean the helicopters get heavier and the their data transmission suites must get lighter, said Tim Roberts, an officials with Honeywell Aerospace.

Honeywell has been installing Aspire 200 satellite communication systems on board undisclosed Army helicopters to speed up their data transfer rate. The Aspire 200 replaced Honeywell eNfusion HSD-400 high speed data transceivers. The Aspire weights 15 pounds lighter than the eNfusion.

In September, Honeywell also unveiled its newest intermediate gain phased-array antenna, the Aspire AMT-1800 IGA the Army is mounting to its Army helicopter fleet.

About the Author

Michael Hoffman
Michael Hoffman is the executive editor at Tandem NSI and a contributor to He can be reached at
  • blight_qwerty…

  • Liv

    I’m not familiar with transmission frequencies, but if the transmission to the satellite is at light speed then how does the rotorwash affect this?

    • Medevac 19

      After they finish cleaning the rotor blades they’re supposed to leave the rotor wash on the ground with the rolls of flight line. Har Har! Old aviation joke.

  • oblatt22

    yea all the fast moving air - really slows down the photons LOL

    You have to love it when Defense tech just massages a badly written technically illiterate press release.

    Honeywell wants to sell more sat transceivers, nobody want to buy very many of them so they don’t even bother to put a decent marketing guy on it.

  • Rob

    what is the chopper pictured above I see lots of stealth type features?

    • Beno

      European NATO NH90 battlefield utility and Naval ASW and ASuW helicopter.

  • LPF

    surely if the rotor wash is affecting the transmission rate, then you mount the receiver/transmitter above the rotors ah la the apache longbow. Now unless those rotors are producing some electro magnetic effect that I have never heard of this sounds like a scam!

    • Medevac 19

      They do produce prodigious amounts of static electricity. Ask any ground pounder who has touched a hovering helicopter before grounding it with the sling load donut.

      • FormerDirtDart

        Worst I’ve ever been zapped was slinging a tandem rigged load of several large spools of electric transmission cable on a -47. I slapped into the rear hook, and one of my knees jerked up and slammed into my chest. Then from behind me I caught a flash of light, and heard a ‘zap’ as my partner slapped into the front hook. Turned around to see him picking himself off the ground after being tossed off the load.

  • Happy

    Every time a rotor blade passes over the antenna, you get blockage, which means you lose a little bit of data each time.

    LPF’s comment has it right.

  • Losul

    Whats with the photo of an NH90?

  • Richard

    The Army must have money to burn since the sold the mothball MH-60’s to the AF….so they don’t get the NH90…I’m guessing…

  • jamesb

    I noticed THAT also…..

    THAT’s a Merlin (MH 101)…..

    They should flying the US President….
    But why am I bring THAT up, Right?

    • Xxx

      No Way, that’s a nh90 for sûre. By thé who watts a merlin nowadays ?

  • jamesb

    Sorry about the grammar…

  • jamesb

    Ooops…NH90, eh?

  • Peter

    Not a Merlin -