ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – Department of Defense researchers made a giant leap toward increasing satellite throughput by successfully transmitting an unprecedented 1.3 gigabit per second (Gbps) carrier signal via the Wideband Global Satellite during the wee hours of the morning, May 19 at the Wahiawa satellite communications, or SATCOM, facility in Hawaii.
The Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command’s communication-electronics center, or CERDEC, led the effort, which brought together industry representatives and all four services in collaboration to test the achievable throughput using current and emerging SATCOM capability.
Today’s high volume military SATCOM users are tied to the 274 Mbps rate, though there are some reports from industry partners that they’ve achieved throughput at just over 600 Mbps, said Rick Dunnegan, CERDEC project lead. This demonstration doubled that amount and marks the largest data stream ever processed on wideband military SATCOM.
“Cooperation and desire to succeed from all personnel from across the services and industry was and is the key to success in the SATCOM arena,” Dunnegan said.
This joint accomplishment was led by the CERDEC Space and Terrestrial Communications Directorate, whose Joint Satellite Engineering Center serves as the DoD lead in satellite and airborne communications research, development, integration, test and evaluation.
U.S. Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity commander and staff provided the initial secure transmission site with independent technical verification personnel. Army Forces Strategic Command approved the test plan and provided Wideband Global SATCOM payload access. The team worked closely with L3 Communications to provided tactical ground hardware and data system personnel. Navy Wahiawa SATCOM provided access to a fixed large aperture system facility and Defense Information Systems Agency provided teleport connectivity. And the U.S. Air Force’s ongoing mission of monitoring and maintaining the MILSATCOM satellite platforms are functioning properly was done at normal tempo leaving adequate time to perform the tests.