RESTON, VA, December 8, 2014 — Global satellite solutions provider SES Government Solutions (SES GS) hosted a capabilities demonstration of the O3b satellite constellation for U.S. Government customers at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. Members of the armed forces witnessed the enhanced communications capabilities available to them through the new O3b satellite fleet, including increased information throughput and significantly reduced latency.
The satellite network, consisting of Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) satellites flying 5,009 miles above the Earth’s surface, was able to backhaul and disseminate multiple channels of HD full motion video and simultaneously stream 4K real-time video at fiber-like speeds in a remote field of operations with no fiber infrastructure.
“O3b is a groundbreaking technology that will greatly enhance government capabilities. This is not just an incremental boost in network performance, but offers the potential to change the way users operate, providing communication capabilities not previously available,” said President and CEO of SES Government Solutions, Tip Osterthaler. “It gives the warfighter fiber-like connectivity on day one of operations.”
The applications for this technology include backhaul and forward distribution of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) data, as well as enhanced, real-time command and control. O3b satellites can facilitate the immediate distribution of high resolution maps, weather data and other processed information for use by deployed forces. Since O3b has fiber-like performance, it will allow deployed commands to optimize the current architecture of deployed communications networks, enabling them to leave latency-sensitive applications in the rear and lighten their IT infrastructure footprint with no loss of capability.
O3b also offers steerable spot beams which can be repointed on short notice or follow a moving asset. O3b system operations and narrow spot beams can make communications difficult to intercept and jam, enhancing security for the government user. By steering an O3b satellite beam to remote locations, customers can also acquire the superior performance, including lower cost per bit for higher throughputs, at locations specified by customers. O3b’s satellites include Ka-band coverage of +/-45° over major world conflict hotspots, Latin America, Africa, Middle East, South and East Asia and the Pacific Ocean.
SES GS was the first government distribution partner to include O3b on their General Services Administration (GSA) Schedule (as of June 30, 2014), making them the first distribution partner to offer O3b capability directly to the U.S. Government. The equipment used at the demonstration is currently available on their GSA Schedule. Additionally, O3b products and capacity are available for purchase through the Future COMSATCOM Services Acquisition (FCSA) contract jointly administered by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).
The first four O3b satellites were launched in June 2013. The second four were launched in July 2014. With eight satellites on orbit, O3b declared it was ready for service on September 1, 2014. In December 2014, an additional four satellites will join the constellation, adding additional capacity and the ability to serve many more users.