“Satellites are so crucial that attacking them could be seen as an act of war,” wrote Niall Firth in the MIT Technology Review in 2019. Understandably, this was a hot topic at the 36th Space Symposium held recently in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Symposium brought together space leaders from around the world to discuss, address, plan for—and protect—the future of space. Rick Lober, vice president of Hughes Defense & Intelligence Systems Division attended and shared his insights following the event.
“All of the threats, such as jamming, space weapons, or even ground-based lasers aimed at imaging satellites, point to a larger issue, especially for the military. In the modern battlespace, threats to communication are threats to mission success,” explained Mr. Lober.
With expert satellite engineering, Hughes develops solutions to connect warfighters, vehicles and nodes across theaters, transport types and providers without interruption, mitigating threats both man-made and natural.
“Our interoperable networks are designed with intelligence built in. They break down longstanding silos, make operations smarter, and overcome obstacles to communication automatically,” Mr. Lober said.
For example, innovative Hughes technologies now make it possible to maintain connectivity between rotary blades and in geographically isolated and austere locations. They enable networks to tap into multiple transports, switching between geostationary, medium and low earth orbit satellites, to meet user needs, especially those on-the-move—like warfighters. Advanced artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities help terminals detect anomalies and make educated decisions based on what’s happening in real-time. And Hughes airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) modems enable low probability of detection to help thwart threats like jamming scenarios.
“These Hughes solutions are engineered to create more resilient and future-proof networks to support access to information from anywhere in the world—no matter where the mission leads or what the adversaries have planned,” Mr. Lober said.