Lori Garver, former Deputy Administrator at NASA gave an interview to The Commercial Space Blog on November 23, 2017. During this, Ms Garver advocated several positions related to how best the US Government could leverage technological developments that commercial industries are bringing ever faster to market. I think several of the approaches she highlighted are applicable to the commercial satellite market that has successfully supported DoD actions across the world for the past two decades. [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…]
Nearly all of us have a veteran in our family or circle of friends – we all know someone. Through flags or poppies, flowers or photographs – how many veterans will you be honoring this week? [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…]
Anyone old enough to read this remembers that it used to be impossible to make a cell phone call while in an elevator. One would either stand in the lobby until the call ended, or warn the person on the other end that the call would soon drop. [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…]
The time for battle is approaching. Timing is crucial; if ground is to be gained, strategy must be able to quickly change where necessary. Communication is critical. As the commander looks to the sky, he sees rain is coming – success now looks doubtful as his message may not get through.
The year is 1864 and this scene takes place during the US Civil War. While the telegraph has been invented, there are no wires at this battlefield. Instead, our commander is hoping to utilize signaling – a recently devised system of army communications involving flags and torches. But signaling relies on visual contact, rain and fog will obscure the commander’s line of sight, as would smoke from the battlefield. At best, only parts of his message will get through. [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…]
HTS is in the news a lot lately. But as we’ve highlighted in previous posts, it faces several challenges in military applications.
In this series, we have outlined ways in which X-band compares to HTS for a military or government user. XTAR is the tried and trusted solution and naturally suited for the military but is often overlooked in light of newer solutions. Why? We believe that throughout the years, several myths have accumulated surrounding the use of this frequency. This final post in our series seeks to clear up those myths and present the true picture of X-band. [Read more…]
XTAR has one customer and one customer only: the military or government user. Why is that important? With a lot of talk recently about HTS, we feel it is important to highlight how we are different, especially from the user’s experience. This post is third in a series of four which examines key ways in which HTS and X-band differ according to the needs and requirements of that military/government user. [Read more…]