Hughes demonstrates Spaceway 3 advanced capabilities at DOD Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration

Posted by Courtney Howard

GERMANTOWN, Md., 29 Jan. 2010. The satellite-based broadband capabilities delivered by Hughes Network Systems LLC, maker of broadband satellite networks and services, were demonstrated during The Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (CWID), according to the CWID Final Report.

Directed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, CWID is an annual multi-national exercise designed to test new and emerging technologies against a backdrop of realistic, simulated operational scenarios.

Participants included the military services, government agencies, first responders, coalition partners, and U.S. combatant commanders worldwide.

"CWID is a critical exercise for testing communications technologies on the battlefield and during crisis response situations," says Rick Lober, vice president and general manager, Defense and Intelligence Systems Division, Hughes. "It was a privilege for Hughes to participate in the CWID trials and I am proud that we were able to demonstrate the utility and value to the warfighter of Spaceway 3, the world's first commercial satellite system with on-board packet switching and routing, and having ten times the capacity of conventional bent-pipe satellites."

During the trials, the Hughes Spaceway 3 SATCOM terminal demonstrated high-definition video teleconferencing (VTC) between the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD), and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, San Diego (SSC Pacific).

According to the CWID Final Report, the system established a highly reliable broadband satellite link maintaining 100 percent video connectivity and maximizing bandwidth for internet, data, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), VTC, and IP-based applications.

The warfighter assessment reads: "If you need a semi-portable satellite communications system, this will work as described."

The final conclusions, taken directly from the report, are: "The DSSPC [Defense Information Systems Agency Switched Satellite Communications Payload Cooperative Research and Development Agreement] demonstrated all stated capabilities while providing a very effective and reliable communication system. IP capabilities and packet switching performed by the SPACEWAY 3 satellite mean less administration paperwork and faster connection speeds, further enhancing the capabilities of other systems with high-capacity Ka-band satellites. Warfighters recommend fielding this technology as demonstrated during CWID 2009 because of its commercial availability as an established system, IP capabilities, the ability to support a multitude of technologies and applications over its satellite uplink, ease of use and its ability to enhance mission operations. Relatively quick to set up, its low complexity and the ability to carry on high-definition, clear, and stable communications with other locations was a valuable attribute. In the absence of terrestrial communications, the DSSPC system can provide solid, high-speed Internet, voice, data, and video communications, offering first responders and deployed troops several advantages."

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