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Categories: 2016, Government Science and Communication

How and Why Commercial High-Capacity Satellites Offer Superior Performance & Survivability in the Future Space Threat Continuum

The leading commercial Satellite Service Providers are supplying services, inclusive of improved warfighter terminals, that deliver order-of-magnitude improvements in end-user performance from a speed and equipment perspective, superior anti-jam and cyber protection over the Department of Defense’s purpose–built communication satellites, and order-of-magnitude improvements in cost of delivered capacity. The Department’s purpose-built WGS and leased commercial Ku-band communication satellites provide 2-4Gbps of capacity.  The leading commercial Satellite Service Providers use on-orbit communication satellites with over 140Gbps of capacity, a 30 to 60-fold improvement, and promise single communication satellites with over 1000Gbps by the year 2020, a 250-475-fold improvement over current practice. This paper provides direct performance comparisons between these commercial high-capacity satellites (HCS) and satellite services and the Department’s purpose-built and leased commercial communication satellites and satellite services from an end-user performance, protection, and delivered cost perspective. This direct performance comparison will be based on the performance capabilities and threat scenarios of near-peer adversaries both today and leading into the next decade, including analysis of the defensive features of current and next generation commercial HCS that will allow them to survive, and in many cases operate through the continuum of anticipated physical and electromagnetic threats in the contested environment of the future. This paper will present how the techniques used to dramatically increase capacity and thus increasing end-user speeds, reducing end-user terminal size and cost, and reducing cost of delivered capacity also address the future space threat continuum from a resilience perspective. The conclusion of this paper is intended to form a market data baseline of commercial HCS and satellite services to inform the Department’s upcoming Wideband Analysis-of-Alternatives (AoA) to determine if the performance cost benefit of commercial HCS and satellite services offsets platform/terminal modifications necessary to employ them.

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Author: Craig Miller
Topic: Government, Science and Communication

  • How and Why Commercial High-Capacity Satellites Offer Superior Performance & Survivability in the Future Space Threat Continuum

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