Advanced commercial satellite systems technology for protected communications
Currently, commercially developed products provide many critical capabilities for the U.S. and allied militaries and governments, and increasingly the line between military-specific developed technology and commercial technology is blurred. For example, the vast majority of broadband satellite modems now used by the military come from commercially developed products. While many have features that were derived from government/military requests, they were nevertheless developed on a commercial basis. Furthermore, many of these modems are primarily used on commercial satellites as well, albeit in uncontested environments. Even secure anti-jam (AJ) communications that were once seen as exclusively in the domain of military technology have recently been shown to be feasible with commercial modem technology to varying degrees, ranging from secure/no AJ to secure/AJ (e.g., Joint IP Modem/EBEM/LinkWay to the Protected Transponded SATCOM Pilot [PTSP] prototypes developed by PM DCATS). Likewise, recent advances in commercial satellite technology, and in particular high capacity satellite (HCS) technology, can have direct application to the protected communications problem for contested environments. These satellites and the systems designed to use these high capacity satellites, such as ViaSat's ViaSat-1 and Eutelsat's KA-SAT satellites, utilize very wide bandwidths, high power/narrow spotbeams and are designed to operate in high carrier-to-interference (C/I) environments - characteristics that have direct applicability for operation in a contested communications environment. Through the design of ViaSat-1 and with development under the PTSP program ViaSat has acquired a unique perspective of both the satellite and modem (ground/user) segments of the AJ problem and believes the best solution involves joint design of the ground, user and space segments as an end-to-end system solution. This paper describes elements of this approach and the potential benefits of a single ent- rprise system design methodology.