Tech & Kit

New SATCOM Technologies to go to US SOF

ViaSat Inc. has provided the U.S. Special Operations Forces with a new airborne broadband satcom system to greatly enhance its warfighting capabilities. The system is already in use in the Middle East and coverage areas will expand as more terminals and hubs are delivered. This new operational capability, an extension of the ArcLight® mobile broadband system, is installed on C-130 aircraft, primarily for sending high resolution video back to higher command authorities for further analysis and identification. It also provides two way broadband communications for a variety of command and control needs. The U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is the first military organization to use the new satcom system which taps into the ArcLight commercial broadband satellite network for private business jets and maritime applications operated by ViaSat and SES Americom Government Services.

The C-130 satcom system is built around the advanced ArcLight modem and networking technology using a spread spectrum waveform to enable the use of mobile satellite antennas as small as 29 centimeters in diameter. The antenna is enclosed in a radome attached to a redesigned emergency escape hatch. In a few minutes, operators can configure an aircraft for their specific mission without any permanent aircraft alterations, then quickly return the aircraft to its normal configuration when the mission is complete, while maintaining safety-of-flight integrity. The U.S. Air Force-certified hatch-mount terminal enables secure access to Department of Defense wide area networks at raw data rates up to 10 Mbps inbound and 512 kbps outbound while airborne.

“This system was first demonstrated by the U.S. Joint Forces Command, was JITC Certified, declared ready for network-centric operations, and now is operational on these USSOCOM aircraft,”“This system was first demonstrated by the U.S. Joint Forces Command, was JITC Certified, declared ready for network-centric operations, and now is operational on these USSOCOM aircraft,” said Larry Taylor, ViaSat Government Satcom director of business development. “This new broadband service provides a much greater level of real-time situational awareness while leveraging commercial satcom technology to greatly reduce operational and support costs compared to other systems.”

The ArcLight spread spectrum technology assures regulatory compliance with FCC and ITU rules governing adjacent satellite interference. Licensed in over 25 countries, the system delivers a terrestrial broadband experience to aircraft, small maritime vessels, European trains, and ground on-the-move vehicles using commercial Ku-band satellites. It can also easily adapt to other frequency bands.

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