A revolutionary system for transmitting aerial reconnaissance images


CONDOR is a modular, flexible system for extensive aerial reconnaissance. It comprises a flight segment which is fitted with various observation systems and can be operated automatically or manually as well as a ground segment capable of being installed as a mobile unit or integrated in an evaluation center. Users at the ground segment plan, control and monitor the mission and receive reconnaissance data on line for evaluation. The central component of the CONDOR reconnaissance system is ARDS (Aerial Reconnaissance Data System), which achieves extremely high data transmission rates. This uses the OHB Wavelet process to reduce the data volume generated by the high-resolution aerial reconnaissance images and permits secure and far-reaching transmission of this data (274 Mbps), thus ensuring that it can be evaluated efficiently at the ground station.

CONDOR is currently in the extension phase. ARDS is to be demonstrated in several flight campaigns using the CONDOR, DO228 and TORNADO carriers as of August 2005.


In a project being conducted for the German Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement, the Bremen-based space technology company OHB-System AG is developing a revolutionary system for the wireless transmission of aerial reconnaissance images. This system permits a very strong reduction in data volumes and ensures virtually lossless transmission. In this way, it will be possible in the future for high-resolution reconnaissance images (radar, infrared and optical) captured by air-borne scouting systems such as drones to be transmitted securely over large distances.

Via the development of ARDS, OHB has received two related follow-up orders. BUETAP involves the integration of the ARDS data link in a Tornado to examine the scope for broadband data transmissions between high-speed jets. BüLAND-MTV aims to examine, implement and demonstrate the practical applications for data transmission in a multi-carrier process in critical scenarios. This involves splitting complex flows of data, which then reach the receiving station by means of reflection.

OHB is heavily committed to developing technology for the broadband processing of image data and has created its own particularly powerful data compression method. This technology forms the central components of future reconnaissance activities.

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Günther Hörbst
Head of Corporate Communications

Manfred-Fuchs-Platz 2-4
28359 Bremen

Phone.: +49 421 2020-9438
Mobile: +49 171 1931041
Email: guenther.hoerbst@ohb.de