Iridium Communications has announced Operation Arctic Lynx (OAL), a series of partnership-driven field exercises deploying Iridium and Iridium Connected technologies and involving more than 20 organizations, primarily focused above 60 degrees north latitude and stretching as far as 82 degrees north latitude.
Taking place between June 11 and June 26, 2021, OAL involves an international contingent of organizations including existing Iridium customers like the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. federal agencies, Alaska state and local organizations, Canadian government organizations, scientific research organizations and multiple aerospace industry companies.
During OAL, Iridium and Iridium Connected weather resilient satellite communications technology will be deployed through a combination of on-base, communications-on-the-move (COTM), at-the-halt (ATH) and remote environment applications.
Technologies being featured include weather-resilient broadband (Iridium Certus), Iridium Push-To-Talk (PTT), a variety of unattended sensors capable of tracking, environmental monitoring, remote control functions and managing data and image delivery, beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) capabilities enabling truly global real-time command and control for drones and autonomous vehicles (Iridium Global Line of SightSM), in-vehicle solutions and demonstration of cutting-edge capabilities like real-time on-the-move 1080 HD video over L-band. Iridium remains the only commercial satellite communications company with truly global coverage and a 20-plus year pedigree of providing reliable Arctic communications.
“Iridium’s Arctic and Antarctic communications capabilities have long been a part of the fabric of government, NGO and civil enterprise activities in those regions and now with our upgraded constellation and new technologies developed, we have turbocharged our portfolio of solutions to address an increasing range of polar communication requirements,” said Scott Scheimreif, executive vice president, Government Programs, Iridium.
“With more than 20 participating organizations, Operation Arctic Lynx will exercise the ability to provide real-time interoperability, communications-on-the-move, command-and-control and develop and maintain a common operational picture in austere polar regions. We’re proud to have so many esteemed organizations participating.”
As part of the operation, multiple voice, data and video real-time communications threads will be exercised both at-the-halt and on-the-move, starting from Utqiagvik, Alaska. Utqiagvik, previously known as Barrow, is located at 71 degrees north latitude, approximately 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle and situated on the Arctic Ocean.
Among these communications threads will be a site located even farther north than Utqiagvik, at approximately 82 degrees north latitude – Canadian Forces Station Alert (CFS Alert), Nunavut, Canada. CFS Alert is the most northerly, permanently inhabited location in the world and one of a number of Arctic Weather Stations. The site has deployed Iridium Certus technology in the form of a Thales MissionLINK 700 terminal to ensure reliable communications.
Additional communications threads include but are not limited to the U.S. South Pole Station, at 90 degrees south latitude, Antarctica; McMurdo Station, Antarctica; Colorado Springs; Melbourne, Florida; Tyler, Texas; Chandler, Arizona; Leesburg, Virginia; Oslo and London.