Since 2005, XTAR has provided the U.S. Government a U.S. industry-unique product: 1.44 GHz of military-grade, high-throughput, virtually-weatherproof X-band SATCOM bandwidth that is 100% compatible with the DoD’s own Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) constellation. That’s right: XTAR’s fleet of 20 powerful, 72 MHz transponders are 100% compatible WGS, and thus provides a natural, redundant resiliency to WGS users. In other words, when WGS is unavailable, WGS users simply need to repoint their antennas to XTAR. No extra equipment to purchase, transport, or sustain. From a resiliency, affordability, and ease of use vantage point, equipping our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines with XTAR just makes sense. [Read more…]
Navies around the globe know that not all radio frequency bands are created equal. As the graphic below depicts, radio signals with frequencies above 10 gigahertz (GHz) are crippled by atmospheric attenuation (i.e. “rain fade”) that degrades signal strength very quickly in hot, humid tropical environments; cold, rainy or overcast environments; sandy or dusty environments; and everything else in between. U.S. Navy carrier strike groups (CSGs) are currently deployed in each of these operating environments, which naturally makes U.S. Navy use of Ku-band (12-18 GHz) and Ka-band (26.5-40 GHz) problematic and costly. [Read more…]
As summer starts drawing to a close and more difficult weather begins to set in, it is a good time to consider how to mitigate the impacts of weather on our military operations. Weather can have a devastating impact on military operations – whether from rain, sleet, snow, fog, and even sand storms and dust suspended in the atmosphere.
As our military becomes ever more reliant on C4I, communication links play an ever more important role in military operations. Winter is coming, so when it comes to satellite communications, it is an especially good time to get Mother Nature on our side by firmly incorporating virtually-weatherproof X-band SATCOM into the DoD’s C4I arsenal. [Read more…]
UAV operators and acquisition offices take note: not all beyond-line-of-sight UAVs are made the same. A certain breed, namely X-band UAVs, are far ahead of the rest in terms of all-weather, go anywhere, anytime can-do ISR and weapons delivery capability. And they offer less radio frequency (RF) interference to surrounding operations, and can do it all with lower operating costs than their Ku-band counterparts. In other words, X-band UAVs bring decisive advantages to military and all sorts of other operations. The all-weather capability and many other benefits of X-band UAVs are catching on – and are taking the industry by storm. [Read more…]
Since 2001, asymmetric warfare has become a keystone of US warfighting doctrine. Joint Publication 3-05, the DoD manual detailing asymmetric warfare, describes the complex nature of these “asymmetric” activities known as special operations, which range from direct action and counter-terrorism to foreign internal defense and humanitarian assistance. These operations are highly mobile, very specialized, and deploy into many of the world’s harshest operating environments – and they require a highly-specialized, all-weather satellite radio frequency (RF) band up to the task. This week, let’s quickly examine how X-band directly supports the special operations warfighter: [Read more…]
On Saturday, March 18, the Department of Defense successfully launched the ninth of ten military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) satellites known as Wideband Global SATCOM – Nine (WGS-9) into orbit, bringing significantly more X-band and Ka-band SATCOM capacity into the hands of the U.S. Department of Defense and the militaries of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and New Zealand. This launch reinforces the prime importance of X-and Ka-radio frequency (RF) bands long into the future of MILSATCOM.
You may have never noticed, but X-band is all around you. Many police speed-trap radars used to enforce safe speeds, and even air traffic control radars used for aircraft collision avoidance, all operate in X-band. [Read more…]
Background. On December 7, 2016, the US Air Force launched the 8th of 10 planned Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) satellites into orbit, from Cape Canaveral in Florida. This latest WGS satellite marks a technological leap forward for the WGS constellation, bringing more X- (and Ka-band) capacity to the Department of Defense. X-band is also an important part of NATO’s own CP130 capabilities package for satellite communications. There is a reason that the Department of Defense and NATO have invested so heavily in X-band: X-band provides high-throughput, virtually weatherproof satellite communications that excels with high-mobility, lightweight applications ranging from forward tactical and SOF units, to maritime communications, to airborne ISR and UAV assets. For these types of applications, X-band in fact provides substantially better service than Ka-band. No wonder X-band is a key component of the Department of Defense’s and NATO’s SATCOM architectures.
In the course of satellite communications architecture planning, like all military operations planning, it is always wise to have a main Course of Action (COA) and a fallback COA.
As a main COA, all DoD program offices, acquisition activities, and J6 SATCOM planners should be purchasing equipment that is 100% compatible with the DoD’s own Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) constellation known as Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS). Why? Because when the DoD purchases WGS-compatible equipment (i.e. X-band SATCOM terminals for aircraft and UAVs, as examples), it saves the DoD millions of O&M dollars annually because it operates using free bandwidth, using satellites it already owns. Not only is this common sense, it is in compliance with OSD-AT&L’s Better Buying Power 3.0 initiatives. Even better: to get on WGS, all DoD units need to do is schedule it. [Read more…]