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…

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Small UAV manufacturers, take note: your efforts to build smaller, lighter UAVs with longer range and higher endurance are not going unnoticed.  Time for a quick primer on what the established competition already knows: UAVs are Size, Weight and Power-limited (SWaP-limited) applications, and thus operate better in X-band – and the reason is simple physics involving (a) X-band’s…

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After years of watching struggling defense acquisition reform initiatives while simultaneously lauding the agility, responsiveness, and successes of U.S. industry (perhaps most notably, Silicon Valley companies), it is clear that the Department of Defense needs to transition from a traditional “you-buy-it, you-live-with-it” military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) architecture towards an agile, responsive, commercial-based satellite communications (COMSATCOM) solution to meet our…

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During my time at XTAR, I have refined my elevator speech on XTAR’s value proposition and how the company is unique in the satellite communications world.  To be clear, when I say, “unique”, I mean, one of a kind — not just special.  This is because no other company brings together the service characteristics of…

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Commercial satellite operators can justly claim a portion of credit for the successful DoD missions in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade and a half, and before that during the Balkans conflicts. We’ve reallocated transponders by the dozen, steered beams from other regions into Southwest Asia (SWA) and the Middle East (ME), moved satellites…

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Those who espouse the notion that commercial bandwidth is more expensive on a per-MHz rate than the cost of fielding a WGS system are likely overlooking several key factors. The average price for commercial bandwidth (as leased through DISA) divided by the lowest common denominator (the price of one MHz of commercial bandwidth for one…

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I’ve always considered myself an amateur architect. I love both the aesthetic and structural characteristics of buildings, military installations, gardens and monuments. During my undergraduate studies I would hang out with my classmates who were in the architecture program, absorbing everything I could about the evolution of the discipline and the ways in which humans modify their…

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