satellite communications

Space Force Launches Data Governance Council

May 6, 2020

By Kimberly Underwood

Col. Laurel Walsh, 50th Operations Group commander (l), and Airman 1st Class Michael McCowan, satellite systems operator and mission planner, 2nd Space Operations Squadron, give the final command to decommission Satellite Vehicle Number-36 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado in January. As part of steps to create a modern, agile U.S. Space Force, the new service is creating a data management governance council. Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Amanda Lovelace

The U.S. Space Force is pursuing a comprehensive data strategy, designed to harness data for strategic advantage. This next-generation data management effort is meant to be more of a precise engineering discipline—rather than an ad hoc organizational effort—and as such, includes the establishment of an associated governing body.

DISA Extends Iridium Satellite’s Airtime Contract

July 19, 2019


Iridium Satellite LLC., Tempe, Arizona, was awarded a non-competitive, firm-fixed-price contract modification (P00013) for the extension of services on the current Airtime contract (HC104714C4000). The face value of this action is $8,836,000 funded by fiscal year 2019 defense working capital funds. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $478,194,000. Performance will be at the contractor’s facility. The original solicitation was issued on the basis of other than full and open competition pursuant to 10 U.S. Code 2304(c)(1), only one responsible source and no other type of supplies or services would satisfy agency requirements. The period of performance is July 22, 2019, through August 21, 2019.

Agile Integration Connects Continents

October 1, 2018

By Chief Warrant Officer 2 Juan Muralles, USA; Chief Warrant Officer 2 Wavell Williams Jr., USA; Maj. Nicolas Beck, USA; and Maj. Daniel Canchola, USA

The worldwide regional hub nodes, including in the Pacific, are the largest satellite transport nodes of the Army’s tactical communications network, Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T), enabling robust network communication exchange in, out and within theater. U.S. Army photo by Liana Mayo, PAO 311th Signal Command

Future U.S. Army regionally aligned forces will benefit from experiences—and solutions—discovered during last year’s integration with the U.S. Army Europe communications network. Although their communicators expected to hit the ground running when they arrived in theater, integrating tactical communications systems was more difficult than expected. Fortunately, new technology and soldiers’ know-how not only solved the immediate problems but also set the stage for easier communications integration in the future.

NETCOM Commander Touts SMART-T

August 9, 2017

By George I. Seffers

The Secure Mobile Anti-Jam Reliable Tactical Terminal, a Desert Storm-era system, could save lives on the modern battlefield, says the NETCOM commander.

The Russian military has been using a clever—and lethal—propaganda technique against Ukrainian soldiers. They spam the soldiers’ cellphones with demoralizing messages and then take advantage of the resulting confusion to geolocate the soldiers’ cellphone signals and launch an attack.

XTAR Provide MQ-4C Connectivity

April 24, 2017


XTAR LLC, Ashburn, Virginia, has announced that it has been selected once again by the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to supply X-band satellite bandwidth for the MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system. The blanket purchase agreement has a ceiling of $9.8 million and consists of a one-year base with four one-year options. Designed and manufactured by Northrop Grumman for the U.S. Navy, the MQ-4C is intended to provide real-time intelligence and reconnaissance in a maritime environment. 


L-3 Awarded Common Data Link Contract

October 31, 2016


L-3 Communications Corp., Communication Systems West, Salt Lake City, Utah, was awarded a $499,987,656 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for common data link and satellite communications support services. Bids were solicited via the Internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of October 31, 2021. The Army Contracting Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, is the contracting activity (W56KGY-17-D-0001).

CACI Wins Special Ops SATCOM Contract

September 16, 2016


CACI National Security Solutions Inc., Reston, Virginia, is being awarded a $77,038,543 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, cost-plus-fixed-fee, performance-based contract (N65236-16-D-8011) for Special Operations communications systems (SOCS) satellite communications (SATCOM) and network support services (NSS). Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic has been tasked to provide SOCS SATCOM NSS in support of U.S. Special Operations Command and other joint warfighting commands. The scope of work includes worldwide technical and logistics support for approximately 2,500 deployable SATCOM systems, and supporting wide area network infrastructure distributed over approximately 90 sites.

Boeing to Support Wideband Satellite Communications

September 6, 2016


The Boeing Co., Colorado Springs, Colorado, was awarded a $46,216,088 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to support the Wideband Satellite Communications Operational Management System. Bids were solicited via the Internet with one received. Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of September 1, 2021. The Army Contracting Command, Rock Island, Illinois, is the contracting activity (W52P1J-16-D-0079).

ViaSat to Provide Senior Leaders In-Flight Communications

June 3, 2016


ViaSat Inc., Carlsbad, California, was awarded a non-competitive, firm-fixed-price contract to provide senior leaders and their support staff with Ku-band and Ka-band communications utilizing ViaSat subscription service while travelling via aircraft.

Harris to Provide Commercial Broadband Systems

February 26, 2016


Harris Corp., Melbourne, Florida, is being awarded a $10,276,458 modification to a previously awarded, firm-fixed-price contract (N00039-13-C-0001) to exercise an option for Commercial Broadband Satellite Program systems, including two Force Level Variant (FLV) dynamic shipboard systems, three FLV dual antenna/dual channel systems and one FLV dynamic shipboard system with radar cross-section reduction. Work will be performed in Melbourne, Florida, and is expected to be completed by January 30, 2017.

Advanced Satellite-Based Waveform Improves Connectivity at Talisman Sabre

November 30, 2015


The U.S. military and the Australian Defense Force noted improved connectivity while testing an advanced Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) waveform technology during the Talisman Sabre 2015 joint training exercise, according to news statements.

The militaries tested a high-performance IP satellite broadband system developed by Hughes Network Systems LLC. The HX System is designed for carrier-grade IP broadband for maritime, air and ground-based mobile networks and video, voice and data trunking for mesh networks.

MUOS-4 Satellite Up and Running

September 2, 2015

By George I. Seffers

MUOS-4 will enable near-global coverage for a new secure military communications network offering enhanced capabilities for mobile forces.

The U.S. Navy’s fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-4) satellite is talking from space to the satellite control team at the Naval Spacecraft Operations Control facility after its Florida launch this morning. MUOS-4 will enable near-global coverage for a new secure military communications network offering enhanced capabilities for mobile forces.

Army Satellite Communications Terminals Support an Agile Force

August 1, 2015

By Lt. Col. Leonard Newman, USA

Several technologies are enhancing U.S. Army satellite connectivity. For small team-size elements, the Global Rapid Response Information Package (GRRIP) is deployed in a single transit case the size of a carry-on bag and can be set up in minutes. GRRIPs provide secure, unclassified communications to forces operating in austere and demanding environments.

The U.S. Army is evolving and positioning its fleet of ground satellite communications terminals to ensure that units can successfully respond to multiple military or humanitarian contingencies anywhere in the world. Both commercial and military satellites are giving the Army greater flexibility in networking links and in the missions that can be conducted with network connectivity.

Boeing to Provide Airborne Broadband Satellite Communications

June 1, 2015


Boeing Service Co., Richardson, Texas, was awarded a $15,008,500 sole-source, firm-fixed-price contract to provide airborne broadband satellite communications enterprise service for U.S. senior leaders conducting official travel on Air Mobility Command and Air Combat Command aircraft fleets. Work will be performed primarily at Boeing and their subcontractor’s facilities worldwide with an estimated completion date of Sept. 30, 2015, with six one-year option periods. Fiscal 2015 operations and maintenance funding is being obligated at award. The Defense Information Technology Contracting Organization, Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, is the contracting activity (HC1013-15-C-0006).


U.S. Army Modifies Satellite Communications Contract

November 17, 2014


General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc., Poway, California, was awarded an undefinitized contract action not to exceed $17,120,120 modification (P00028) to fixed-price incentive contract W58RGZ-12-C-0057 for 16 universal upgrade kits to the existing dual carrier satellite communications ground data terminal and the required integration support. Fiscal 2014 other procurement funds in the amount of $8,300,000 were obligated at the time of the award. With this modification, the cumulative total of the contract is $501,200,869. Estimated completion date is Aug.

AIS Engineering to Provide Satellite Services

November 12, 2014


AIS Engineering Incorporated (AIS) has announced it was awarded contract HC1013-14-F-0038 (CTC0195) for commercial satellite communications transponded capacity to provide bandwidth for the Joint Satellite Engineering Center for the project manager Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (PM WIN-T). AIS will be providing the satellite capacity together with SES Government Solutions. The task order is valued at more than $50 million over the life of the contract. The Future Commercial SATCOM Acquisition program is managed by the General Services Administration in partnership with the Defense Information Systems Agency. 

L3 Awarded Communications Terminals Contract

September 5, 2014


L3 Global Communications Solutions Incorporated, Victor, New York, was awarded an $8,402,031 undefinitized contract action for sustainment of the Army’s existing combat services support, for very small aperture terminal transmission systems and satellite communications terminals. The Army Contract Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity (W52P1J-14-C-0057).

SES to Support U.S. Africa Command

June 9, 2014


SES Government Solutions, McLean Virginia, has been awarded an $8,245,160 firm-fixed-price contract for the purchase of commercial on-orbit transponders to support Ku-band communications for U.S. Africa Command and operations and sustainment support for a base year and four one-year options. Work will be performed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany and the western portion of Africa, and is expected to be complete by Aug. 5, 2019. The Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California is the contracting activity (FA8808-14-C-0001).

Lockheed Martin Receives Satellite Funds

June 2, 2014


Lockheed Martin Space Systems Center, Sunnyvale, California, has been awarded a $41,206,525 modification (P00075) to FA8810-08-C-0002 for the Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) Transition to Operations. The total cumulative face value of the contract is $3,214,926,620. The contract modification is to add HEO-4 launch and early on-orbit test (LEOT) capabilities to the HEO-3 LEOT baseline. This HEO 3/4 transition concept of operations is required to support the HEO 3/4 payloads transition to the Increment 2 operational baseline. The Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles, California, is the contracting activity.

ViaSat to Produce Enhanced Bandwidth Efficient Modem

May 23, 2014


ViaSat Incorporated, Carlsbad, California, was awarded a $30,641,786 firm-fixed-price, multi-year contract for Enhanced Bandwidth Efficient Modem (EBEM) production and support to include: (1) fabrication and production delivery of: a. MD-1366(U) Strategic EBEM; b. MD-1366A(U), tactical EBEM; c. ethernet service expansion module; (2) post production software support; (3) hardware maintenance repair; (4) potential capabilities enhancement(s) via engineering change proposals. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity (W52P1J-14-D-0056).