SKYTRAC Enables Iridium Certus® Global Line of Sight Communications (GLOS) Onboard Platform Aerospace's Record-Breaking Vanilla Unmanned UAV for NASA Arctic Mission

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Platform Aerospace's Vanilla Unmanned UAV landed with sunset in the background

Organization: Platform Aerospace
Industry: Unmanned Aviation
Location: Hollywood, Maryland, USA
Web URL:


Platform Aerospace owns and operates Vanilla Unmanned, an ultra-long flight endurance Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platform. Platform Aerospace is an industry leader in rapid aircraft and UAV modification and system integration with the expertise to meet the
growing demand for UAVs as they become an integral part of the aerospace industry. On September 24th, 2021, Platform Aerospace launched Vanilla Unmanned and recovered the UAV 8 days, 50 minutes, and 47 seconds later on October 2nd, officially breaking the World Air Sports Federation world record for unrefueled, internal combustion endurance of an unmanned aircraft. As a long endurance Group III
Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) used for multi-day surveillance and inspection operations, this is a significant milestone for Vanilla Unmanned.

To support these ISR missions, UAVs including Platform Aerospace’s Vanilla Unmanned require reliable Global Line of Sight (GLOS) communications and low latency Command and Control (C2) to ensure safe operation and market acceptance. Traditionally, communication capabilities have been enabled through Radio Frequency (RF), but cannot enable Global Line of Sight (also known as Beyond Visual Line of Sight) communications. Iridium’s pole-to-pole global and low latency satellite connectivity offers an alternative solution for UAS BVLOS operations.

Maintaining aircraft C2 during BVLOS flight operations has been challenging since many datalink solutions are limited by range or geographic coverage. This flight in the Arctic demonstrated SKYTRAC's global coverage, resiliency to extreme weather, and provided a low SWaP solution for connectivity onboard our ultra-long high endurance UAV missions.

Dr. Dan Edwards, Chief Technology Officer at Platform Aerospace

Download the Platform Aerospace Case Study

Discover how Platform Aerospace utilized SKYTRAC’s Iridium Certus Satcom system to enable Command and Control (C2) for Global Line of Sight (GLOS) communications onboard their record-breaking UAV platform.