A German Police Helicopter Squadron recently decided to upgrade its video transmission system on its fleet of state-of-the-art Airbus EC135 helicopters. Team2 applications, a developer of electronic system solutions for aviation and security, KMT GmbH, a security service application specialist, and VITEC combined forces to design a new system to meet the requirements of this challenging application.

The bespoke solution features team2 MLX100/VRX211/NGR421 Routers, VITEC single channel HEVC/H.264 MGW Pico+ TOUGH Encoders or MGW Diamond TOUGH HEVC/H.264 quad-channel Encoders, and airworthy antennas designed by team2. All units are housed in ruggedised enclosures, and all products are airworthy-grade, designed specifically to support mission-critical intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) from both manned and unmanned airborne platforms operating in extreme conditions.

Through the Airbus EC135 retrofit program, all equipment is contained in a ruggedised roll-on-/roll-off rack, which can be installed in the helicopters within 5 minutes, with seat-rail quick-locks attached to the airframe, and easily connected to the helicopter’s standard power outlet and the video-cameras to 3G-SDI video outlets.

Christoph Eder, General Manager, team2applications, commented: “Winning this contract demonstrates team2’s position as a leading technology provider of mobile cell-based IP video streaming technologies and our successful strategy in designing and delivering high-quality, reliable and IT-security enabled networking and tactical video solutions that meet the most stringent specifications of governmental surveillance markets. The project required a rugged, reliable, and versatile end-to-end solution, for which the VITEC MGW Pico+ TOUGH and Diamond TOUGH Encoders are the perfect fit. They provide every capability for processing and distributing ISR or situational awareness video generated by surveillance helicopters.”

The solution meets the customer’s requirement for two independent video transmission systems on the equipped helicopters and provides a WLAN/Wi-Fi network access point that extends the German Police Force’s IP-network to the helicopter cabin.

The VITEC encoders provide up to four 3G/HD/SD-SDI or composite inputs for video capture and live streaming. In addition to providing H.264 encoding, the MGW Pico+ and MGW Diamond TOUGH Encoders offer options for advanced HEVC compression for streaming HD/SD video (up to 1080p60), with bandwidth savings up to 50 percent compared to current H.264 standards.

The team2/KMT/VITEC solution is the industry’s first ruggedised roll-on/roll-off system to bring bandwidth-efficient HEVC compression technology into field video streaming applications.