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Rugged Logic’s G-MODMAN II delivers Android-like adaptability

December 09, 2021 Blog

In the fifth of a series of Value-Added Manufacturers’ blogs, Rugged Logic reflects upon its close partnership with Inmarsat to develop the G-MODMAN solution for U.S. government customers.

G-MODMAN II OP

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By Andrew Yoder, Ph.D., President & CEO, Rugged Logic, Inc. and Scott McGregor, Director, Product Development, Inmarsat Government

Rugged Logic was founded in 2012 by five engineers with four different specialties: mechanical, electrical, software and systems. Immediately, we knew we were a team destined to create new and exciting innovations.

We are determined to not only build great products, but products that will stand up to the harshest environments. This includes vast deserts and flooded areas, as well as the Arctic Circle and the Antarctic, meaning our footprint literally stretches North to South on both ends of the world. Our aim is to offer equipment that our government customers can rely upon in any conceivable condition.

In 2016, we started working with Inmarsat on the development of the first G-MODMAN — an enabling technology that supported the implementation of Global Xpress terminals on government aviation platforms. G-MODMAN enabled government aircraft and antenna integrators to access Global Xpress, the first and only end-to-end, high-throughput, commercial Ka-band network from a single operator with worldwide service. This was a new and exciting challenge for us. We were building more than a complex system. We were building it to survive the stresses of being on aircraft at extreme temperatures and vibrations, while allowing the customer to just turn it on, get connected and let the data flow.

Today, we are proud to unveil the latest of our collaborative efforts with Inmarsat, G-MODMAN II. Based upon proven government modem manager technology with specific communication-on-the-move (COTM) requirements in mind, G-MODMAN II is the primary component of a smart ecosystem built around Inmarsat’s Global Xpress managed service. A flexible and easy-to-use solution, G-MODMAN II seamlessly integrates with existing antenna control systems and supports the implementation of the next generation of Global Xpress aero terminals across multiple aviation platforms.

We updated all of the technology for G-MODMAN II, including a new switch, modem and additional components. We also designed it to “go faster,” with higher bandwidth to upload, download and stream more rapidly.

But that is only scratching the surface of what we set out to do. We closely examined the user experience to identify ways to improve it. When a satellite transition approaches, how can the crew members better inform their commanding officer that this switch is about to happen? From a support perspective, how can our Value-Added Resellers (VARs) provide information or even incident resolution as quickly as possible?

In other words, we reimagined the entire G-MODMAN ecosystem to create an enhanced, more holistic experience for everyone involved. Regarding support, for example, we developed near real-time monitoring so that in the very rare event of an issue users do not need to spend countless hours troubleshooting and analyzing information “after the fact.” Instead, they get back into operations in a fraction of the time. This monitoring data is stored and can be accessed at later points for up to one year to evaluate past performance and trend analysis.

Throughout all of this, we were committed to adaptability. G-MODMAN II’s open architecture system supports standards such as OpenAMIP and OpenBMIP protocols. As a result, it is universally compatible with any well-designed antenna, including those for smaller Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and larger manned aircraft. There is integration involved to achieve Global Xpress type approval, but far less than for other products. We like to think of ourselves as the “android” of satellite communications (SATCOM) Value Added Manufacturers (VAMs) in terms of flexibility, while other companies are more restrictive and proprietary.

Toward this goal, we have collaborated with Inmarsat to design the G-MODMAN Open Platform (OP), recognizing that many missions require diverse SATCOM services spanning both commercial and military/government networks. G-MODMAN OP provides a turn-key solution for integrating multiple modems with a single antenna. It allows users to seamlessly switch between networks during a flight and ensures always-on availability, capacity, coverage and capabilities.

All of this is about giving government customers as much coverage and capabilities as possible while continuing to constrain size, weight and power (SWaP). Our G-MODMAN products will go wherever the mission requires and will operate in whatever climate and conditions they encounter. If you would like to know more about how we can help support your requirements and solve your problems, then please contact Inmarsat.

About the Authors

Andrew Yoder
Andrew Yoder is President and CEO of Rugged Logic Inc., a small business dedicated to the development of technically advanced SATCOM systems. Dr. Yoder is responsible for executing the vision of Rugged Logic to design and build the most reliable products for use in the most rugged environments through extraordinary design.

Dr. Yoder has over 20 years of experience in blending different disciplines of engineering through system design to create innovative products. He began his career working directly for the U.S. Government creating specialized products and continuing that work at Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Kratos Defense.

Dr. Yoder holds a Doctor of Philosophy and a Master of Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Mechanical Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science from LeTourneau University in Engineering.

Scott McGregor is Director of Product Development at Inmarsat Government, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Inmarsat Group Holdings Limited, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications to the United States government.

Mr. McGregor is responsible for driving the innovation and development of Ka-band terminals to meet highly mobile government users’ operational requirements in challenging environments – on land, at sea, in the air and in space.

Mr. McGregor has more than 15 years of experience in the areas of digital and satellite communications, driving the development and innovation of satellite terminals as well as the satellites themselves. Prior to Inmarsat Government, Mr. McGregor worked at Boeing and Booz Allen Hamilton.

Mr. McGregor holds a Masters of Electrical Engineering from Purdue University and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maine in Electrical Engineering.