Every year, the U.S. Department of Defense hosts a multi-national exercise to test new and emerging technologies against a backdrop of realistic, simulated operational scenarios. Participants in the Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (CWID) typically include the military services, government agencies, first responders, coalition partners, and U.S. combatant commanders worldwide.
During the 2009 CWID trials, Hughes demonstrated high-definition videoconferencing among multiple sites with terminals designed to operate over its SPACEWAY 3 satellite. Test locations included the U.S. Northern Command, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division, Hanscom ESC, and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, San Diego. 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), videoconferencing, and IP-based applications.
The report recommends satellite communications technology to improve commandercentric, net-enabled operations. “It’s better than anything I’ve ever seen,” noted the warfighter assessment. “If you need a semi-portable satellite communications system, this will work as described.”
Additional highlights from the report include:
- The SATCOM technology 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 administrative paperwork and faster connection speeds, demonstrating that high-capacity Ka-band satellites can further enhance the capabilities of other systems.
- Warfighters recommend fielding this technology as demonstrated during CWID 2009 for multiple reasons: 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 ability to enhance mission operations.
- Relatively quick to set up, the 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, satellite communications technology can provide solid, high-speed Internet, voice, data, and video communications, offering first responders and deployed troops several advantages.
“Advanced communications technologies are critical on the battlefield and during crisis response situations,” said Rick Lober, vice president and general manager, Defense and Intelligence Systems Division of Hughes. “It was a privilege for Hughes to participate in the CWID trials and demonstrate the utility and value to the warfighter of SPACEWAY 3, the world’s first commercial satellite system with onboard packet switching and routing, and ten times the capacity of conventional bent-pipe satellites.”
To see the full report, visit: www.cwid.js.mil.