Your COTM Checklist

Having the right Comms-On-The-Move (COTM) is vital in today’s military and political environment. Communications must support movement across geographical areas while encountering a wide variety of conditions and scenarios. When they do provide this support, the chance for mission success greatly increases. When they don’t, the risk of mission failure (and worse) increases. Evaluating whether or not your communications are up for the task comes down to a few basic questions, addressed here by XTAR.

Could I lose signal as the weather changes?

Your signal needs to stay strong no matter what conditions you are travelling in. Rain, high humidity, cloud cover and sand or dust storms all have the potential to take down communications for those frequencies that operate above 10 GHz. X-band’s position on the spectrum (transmit range of 7.9 – 8.4 GHz and receive range of 7.25 – 7.75 GHz) make it virtually weatherproof and allow communications to stay strong as your conditions change.

Will I lose communications as I travel?

X-band spot beams cover areas of interest to military users. We have placed our spot beams where military users most need them. These beams are wide (typically more than 1,000 miles) meaning that a COTM user often will not require travel outside of each X-band spot beam, allowing communications to remain uninterrupted as the mission moves. Even with wide beams, high data rates are still supported.

Will I experience interference?

Most frequency bands have 2˚ of orbital spacing between satellites. This fact, along with the utilization of smaller antennas in COTM situations, increases the chance of adjacent satellite interference (ASI). X-band satellites are spaced 4˚ apart and rarely encounter ASI.

Can my communications operate efficiently while on the move?

COTM requires the efficient transmission and reception of voice, data, imagery and HD video. Due to the satellite spacing mentioned above, X-band satellites can operate at higher uplink and downlink EIRP/Power densities than traditional commercial satellites with typical two degree orbital spacing. Higher allowable EIRP/Power densities at X-band allow small antennas to transmit without the need to use spread spectrum techniques that result in increased bandwidth requirements. As an example, XTAR has provided service to a 0.4m transmitting a 10 Mbps carrier at an efficiency of 1.05 bits/Hz over an entire area of interest.

Could I lose service to another user?

X-band is reserved solely for government and military use, however leasing bandwidth from XTAR means that your service will never be reduced or removed due to another user’s priority or need. Leased access from XTAR is guaranteed.

Do I have a backup?

XTAR is a commercial alternative on-deck for MILSATCOM users. In the event WGS is unavailable for any reason, the COTM user can simply repoint their antenna and access the XTAR constellation, utilizing the same frequency. In addition, XTAR stands ready when a switch to X-band is quickly needed such as in adversarial conditions when access to a different satellite is required.

When evaluating your communications for COTM scenarios, it comes down to three very simple questions:

  • Are comms available?
  • Are comms reliable?
  • Will comms move with the mission?

X-band can check these requirement boxes in COTM situations, but for more detailed information about how XTAR can support your mission, contact us today.