In a recent article on the Government Satellite Report, my colleague, G. RamosCarr, began a series of articles focused on highlighting some of the new technological advancements, innovations, and solutions which make satellites a more scalable and reliable capability to provide connectivity at the tactical edge. In his article, G. discussed a new generation of satellite-managed services that enables government agencies and military organizations to opportunistically utilize the bandwidth and mobile connectivity needed, without having to invest in new terrestrial hardware and infrastructure.
Even in a world where connectivity feels ubiquitous, there are still places and situations where a compass, a loud voice, line of site radios, and orienteering remain the only means for managing operations – a less than ideal scenario in most cases. Military missions, humanitarian efforts, and disaster response (HADR) operations all require high-speed, mobile connectivity that is ubiquitous, secure, and reliable to ensure that lives are saved, and missions are successful.
Since terrestrial networks are often either unavailable or not trusted, these situations require a BYOC – or Bring Your Own Connectivity – approach to communications and situational awareness. But the challenge of delivering mobile connectivity is no small feat.
In disaster relief situations, response teams typically set up a hub location of connectivity once an area is cleared and accessible. This can often take days or weeks wasting critical time needed to save lives.
In this installment, I’d like to talk about a new turnkey solution that offers a “roll-on, roll-off” functionality and brings fiber-like connectivity to the most remote and austere environments by leveraging SES’ O3b MEO satellite constellation.
The turnkey solution is self-contained, weatherproof, and houses all electronic equipment in a rack system with an AC power distribution unit, and a battery backup system. It was specifically designed for an extremely simplified, unobtrusive installation that can easily be cross-decked from vessel-to-vessel or transported from vessel to shore. The solution can adapt to virtually any scenario or environment due to its design and portability. The self-contained skid mount platform allows for crane lift, forklift, or pallet jack movement ideal for both land and maritime domains and meets the size/weight requirements to accommodate air transportation to vessels at sea (i.e. Carrier Onboard Delivery, or COD) as well as helicopter transportation ashore supporting combat operations or HADR missions.
SES’ O3b MEO constellation delivers network services with resilient high-throughput and low-latency as the small variant Rapidly Deployable Maritime System (RDMS) is able to achieve upwards of 400 Mbps x 200 Mbps of throughput. This new solution provides enough bandwidth to enable all the systems and applications needed at the tactical edge, which is important as government systems and platforms are becoming network-enabled more than ever.
SES GS’ carrier-grade SATCOM connectivity has demonstrated throughput that is unsurpassed in a portable maritime system of this size. The solution has been installed to provide connectivity for a variety of uses such as onboard hospital ships to access data for patient treatment, transferring large data files, running remote applications, and providing connectivity to personnel boosting crew morale onboard naval vessels.
Another case where the solution is utilized is onboard naval vessels. Due to extended deployments, some U.S. servicemen are approaching nearly a year at sea. O3b MEO provides sailors with the level of connectivity needed to video conference family and friends back home – boosting crew morale. A similar MEO solution has been deployed to support Allied naval forces during operational deployments.
With this new portable, turnkey solution SES GS is proud to provide unprecedented connectivity leveraging its O3b MEO constellation by assisting military missions, disaster response, and humanitarian missions.