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MILSATCOM Calling On Australia
There is always a need for satellite communications wherever military personnel are present.

Satellites have the ability to provide communications to regions which lack stable ground infrastructure. They can deliver one-to-remote or multi-point solutions anywhere on the Earth’s surface and are an ideal offering for military forces that operate globally in remote locations and less than stable environments.

NewSatFig1 Be it for mission critical communications, recreation or morale, project research, business-to-business research or briefings, there is no doubt that there is always a need for satellite communications wherever military personnel are present.

Today, the growing demand for more capacity and higher bandwidth being requested from the military sector is far outstripping available supply. The U.S. Department of Defence (DoD) and coalition forces deployed in various areas of the world want the reliability, flexibility, reach and mobility offered by satellite communications, as they wish to be in charge of their communications, as opposed to relying on local telecommunications operators.

It is estimated that the commercial satellite arena currently supports 80 percent of the U.S. DoD’s satellite consumption, complementing its Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) system, a network-centric, Ka-band system consisting of up to nine geostationary satellites, four of which are already in orbit.

As the DoD continues the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, military satellite communications (MILSATCOM) and commercial satellite communications are playing an increasingly important role at this stage of the mission. With fewer forces on the ground and tighter budgets, the DoD is mindful of using its resources in the most efficient way possible—commercial satellites play a pivotal role in seamlessly integrating communications between Foreign Operating Bases (FOBs), soldiers, military personnel, base commanders and support headquarters.

At the same time, the DoD is increasing its fleet of unmanned aircraft to support deployed ground troops around the world. Drone operators depend on fast, secure and reliable communications to control Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and sensors, and to communicate with FOBs and ground troops.

CabSat_ad_MSM0313 “Demand for superior satellite communications services coming from the military sector has never been higher. The US DoD and coalition forces require more flexibility and higher quality bandwidth from commercial satellite communications providers in order to respond quickly to situations arising in hot spots around the world. Most importantly, these services need to be ultra-secure and reliable”, said Diego Paldao, NewSat Vice President of Sales for the Americas.

As the DoD shifts its focus toward the Asia-Pacific region and moves toward using more unmanned technologies than ever before, it will require more commercial satellite communications for missions in this expansive region. Chances are that many commercial satellite communications solutions required for these missions will come from Australia.

Why Australia? As a politically and geologically stable country, Australia provides the perfect location to house teleport and satellite infrastructure. As a geographically remote country, Australian teleports ensure minimal noise and frequency interference and provide optimal look angles into Asia, India and the Middle East, enabling superior and extensive coverage.

In addition, Australia will soon launch its first Ka-band satellite, NewSat’s Jabiru-1. The prospects of new capacity, higher bandwidths, innovative regional and steerable beams, greater mobility and smaller end-user antennas (VSATs) offered by Ka-band satellites such as Jabiru-1, are encouraging military organizations to look to Australia for their mission critical satellite communications.

Smaller and lighter terminals make the deployment of communications equipment around the world much faster and easier than ever before, especially when providing connectivity to mobile platforms, ships or aircraft. With the realignment of DoD troops to the Asia-Pacific, there is a lot of interest in Australian commercial satellite communications, and in particular, the Ka-band offering, which can strengthen capabilities during maritime and aeronautical missions.

NewSatFig2 Ultimately, as the DoD’s need for satellite communications continues to grow, it is forecasted that commercial satellites will assist in meeting this demand well into the future. While the launch of the WGS has been a much welcome and needed addition, demand for more capacity and throughput has called for strategically-placed Ka-band satellite communications providers to deliver secure, reliable and flexible communications solutions to the U.S. DoD.

As global government and military organizations continue to expand their existing networks, we will keep seeing an increase in their ‘communications on the move’ requirements, and the infinite reach of satellite will allow them to redistribute high volumes of content across markets and regions around the world, from urban to extremely isolated areas. Demand for more satellite communications will continue outstripping supply and, for this reason, more and more partnerships will be formed between government and military organisations, and commercial satellite communications providers that can deliver effective, secure and reliable communications solutions, tailored to mission or operation-specific needs.

It is also predicted that in the not-too-distant future, soldiers will be networked together and rely on data fusion, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR), knowledge management and dynamic targeting, all of which will be communicated via satellite. Undoubtedly, this will be a future where military satellite communications and commercial satellite communications will be interoperable.