The X-Factor: A SATCOM Blog

Checking Under the Hood

Think about all the truly mediocre products that have made it to market. Your list might differ from mine, but I would include McDonald’s hamburgers, Wonder Bread and those exploding hoverboards. Now for all of those disappointing products that somehow made it, think about the high quality products out there that haven’t gotten the notice…

U.S. Military Satellite Communications: Taking the High Ground with X-band SATCOM

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…

Size is Important in Mobile SATCOM

We’ve yet to hear a satellite company boast about having the largest mobile terminals around. Mobile terminals are best in small, portable sizes that can easily move as the mission does. So what importance should be placed on the size of a satellite communications provider? Is bigger better here as well?

Ever wonder why so many critical, lifesaving radar applications operate in X-band?

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.

Satellite Communications and Security Cooperation: Achieving All-Weather Global Resiliency, Interoperability, and Affordability – by Working with WGS

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…

Army’s WIN-T Tests on GATR Terminals Show X-band Satellite Strength and Value

Over the last few weeks, XTAR eagerly anticipated the results of Army’s tests of its new inflatable satellite terminal for robust communications on the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T), using X-band. These satellite systems can deliver advanced, high-bandwidth communications to the tactical edge, and they continue to prove the critical role of X-band satellites for the…

Philip Harlow Interviewed on UK Radio Programme PassW0rd

On November 8, coincident with the Global MilSatCom Conference in London, Philip Harlow, President and COO of XTAR, was interviewed by Peter Warren on the radio show PassW0rd where they discussed contested space, militarization of satellites and orbital debris. You can listen to the interview here where Philip Harlow discusses the many types of risks…

The DoD is Pressing Hard to be More Innovative in Commercial Space (Part II)

Part II: Is there a disconnect between words and deeds in DoD Innovation and Procurement Practices? The pitfalls seem to lie in the environment and the execution. The DoD has sought the engagement of the commercial space industry to develop innovative solutions that will allow COMSATCOM and MILSATCOM architectures to be interoperable, particularly as it…

The DoD is Pressing Hard to be More Innovative in Commercial Space (Part I)

Part I: DoD looks to Industry for options; How is that working out so far? When it comes to commercial space use by DoD, their leadership often talks about the need to innovate, and the need to collaborate with their industry partners. With over $1BN being spent annually at the height of the conflicts in…

MILSATCOM Problems? Don’t Repurchase, Repoint!

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…