Insight | How LAISR and LACE II support an increasingly mobile government user – in the air and on the ground


How LAISR and LACE II support an increasingly mobile government user – in the air and on the ground


Due to the very nature of their missions, military and government users are never standing still. They must constantly deploy from one part of the world to another – often far away, to an unfamiliar location. The last thing these users need are satellite communications (SATCOM) solutions that require the transportation of bulky, heavy equipment which, once arriving at their mission destination, offer spotty connectivity with low-throughput data.

Inmarsat has developed its L-band solutions with these operational challenges foremost in mind, to bring highly mobile, capable and reliable SATCOM products and services to Department of Defense (DoD) and civilian agency customers who are always on the move.

For decades, Inmarsat SwiftBroadband, FleetBroadband and BGAN have performed as the primary choice for highly reliable, global L-band services – establishing portable voice, video and data connectivity on-demand, regardless of the location or any weather-impacted environment – via terminals that are small and light enough to carry in a backpack.

In delivering on users’ requirements for higher throughputs, we have brought to the market two additional solutions to further enhance our customers’ operations, connectivity and ease-of-deployment. These solutions have demonstrated data rates as high as 10 Mbps x 10 Mbps along with the most efficient terminal size, weight and power (SWaP) possible, while simultaneously maintaining the reliability, ease of use and low cost of operations provided by Inmarsat ELERA’s seamless, global L-band space and ground network:

L-band Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (LAISR)

Today’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are so advanced, that they do not need a runway to take off – they readily launch from anywhere on the ground often using powerful rotary blades. From there, they soar above an area of interest and transmit a large volume of observed images/video and data to units on the ground to provide situational awareness and inform their decisions. Thanks to UAS, the DoD can avoid sending personnel to conduct Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) – which would potentially place them in danger.

The same concept of power and purpose should extend to SATCOM for UAS, making the large images/video/data transmissions possible. LAISR delivers reliable high-throughput, beyond line-of-sight (BLOS) connectivity for small-aperture aero platforms worldwide, with service typically delivering 3 Mbps in both directions and low SWaP user terminals starting at 3 pounds. With LAISR, users get uniform coverage and always-on airborne ISR capabilities throughout the complete coverage area of the Inmarsat ELERA global L-band network. Service plans are available for global and regional applications. We configure LAISR services to meet the unique requirements of government customers, and our U.S.-based, security-cleared operations and engineering teams manage it 24/7/365.

Furthermore, our Enhanced L-band project will transform the way we deliver the LAISR capability, enabling autonomous on-demand satellite resource assignment. This will increase customers’ ability to perform quick-reaction missions with greater operational security and flexibility.


LACE II extends and enhances the BGAN experience for our customers. When military units are jumping out of airplanes, they need equipment that is small and light enough to put on their backs and – once they are on the ground – quickly deploys without complexity.

LACE II allows teams to receive and return large quantities of video and sensor data with Inmarsat L-band-enabled seamless reliability, ease of use, low cost of operation and minimal SWaP. Because it stands up to any environment, users never need to question whether they will stay connected even in the harshest of conditions – from rain, snow and wind to dirt, mud or dust. Users establish connectivity in less than two minutes thanks to an Inmarsat web interface that walks operators through steps swiftly and easily. Then, they immediately benefit from a service that reliably supports duplex data rates typically at 3 Mbps. All of this performance is captured in a terminal that is the size of a laptop, weighing only 10.8 pounds.

At Inmarsat, we realize military and other government users are never standing still. That is why – when it comes to innovation – we never stand still either. We take a very hands-on, agile development approach in engaging with our customers, getting their feedback about existing products and then finding out what improvements/new features would best support their operational tempo. As a result, our next-generation I-6 satellites will provide a step change in the capacity of Inmarsat ELERA L-band services, and will further strengthen our position as the leading L-band innovator. The I-6 constellation is fully compatible with all of Inmarsat’s current services running on the I-4 constellation to include LAISR and LACE II and will also support the forward-looking roadmap into the 2030s and beyond.

This helps us stay ahead by initiating market trends instead of following them. Ultimately, it all comes down to being a good listener with our customers, and quickly developing what they ask. If you would like to know more about LAISR, LACE II and our other solutions, then please contact us.