ThinKom + ViaSat + U.S.A.F Successful Proof of Concept
The following article was published on June 13, 2014 on Satnews.
[SatNews] In-flight network switching between a U.S. Government Ka-band Wideband Global SATCOM satellite and a commercial Ka-band satellite has been successfully demonstrated by ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT).
The USAF proof of concept flight demonstration was conducted under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center in cooperation with Air Mobility Command, 193rd Air National Guard, MITRE, and MIT Lincoln Laboratory. The body of observers included representation from U.S. Strategic Command.
“By providing seamless roaming on the best available broadband network for enroute military airborne missions, we can help the government operate and assure the resilient enterprise network it wants,” said Ken Peterman, VP of government systems at ViaSat. “This exercise was an important step in realizing this government vision with the aircraft transitioning between government and commercial satellite systems.”
In the past year, ViaSat has significantly expanded the bandwidth on its global airborne network to address government requirements for broadband ISR delivery and enroute connectivity. The company offers multiple service tiers providing increasing levels of priority access to assure performance when the mission warrants it.
This test proved a basic premise underlying the ViaSat “best available broadband network” concept: That not only is seamless network-switching possible between government and commercial satellites, but also between different airborne networks. For this demonstration the satellite terminals were open government and industry systems. A government-supplied ThinKom antenna was integrated with a government-standard MD-1366 EBEM modem and ViaSat Global Network mobile router systems.
Test results included a number of key points:
- Successful use of typical VIPSAM (Very Important Person Special Air Mission) applications such as email, Internet, messaging, VoIP, file transfer, and VTC.
- Link speeds of up to 6.5 Mbps to and from the aircraft in flight using the AMC-16 commercial satellite.
- Use of various data protocols including UDP, TCP, Web, and FTP to gather performance information.
- Streaming of video, including ISR data and a high-definition movie.