Air Command and Staff College, Air University Maxwell Air Force Base United States
Changes in Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance ISR sensor technology have drastically increased the amount of available data, but the primary method of transmitting the data Satellite Communications SATCOM has not kept pace. Remotely Piloted Aircraft RPA such as the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper are a major user of SATCOM for both command and control and data links. Their full motion video FMV sensors provide exquisite ISR capability however, FMV requires significant SATCOM bandwidth. With military SATCOM MILSATCOM capacity at a premium, RPA ISR dissemination is executed exclusively via commercial SATCOM COMSATCOM.